I have told our patients for years of the dangers of consuming fruit juice alone. The sugar content is sky high and creates a problem for young children, especially given the increase in serving sizes over the year. The fructose or “fruit sugar” that is concentrated without the fiber when pressed into a juice was only a small part of the diet in the early 20th century (approx 15g), however, it now makes up 5 or more times that amount in the standard diet. Whats worse? The body can not metabolize fructose in the liver. Meaning, high enough intakes over run the liver leading to weight gain as the body attempts to remove the fructose from the blood as quickly as possible.
Finally, the issue is being addressed somewhere. Amsterdam has gone as far as to eliminate all fruit juice in its school system, which caused quite an issue with parents. It was compounded when they eliminated the birthday treats and sent home lists of healthy alternatives for celebrating children’s birthdays at school including items such as oranges and carrots. The city has gone as far as refusing sponsorship to events that take money from Coca Cola or McDonalds. Good luck seeing that ever happen in America.
The results speak for themselves. The number of overweight and obese children has dropped by 12% from 2012-2015.
These are the types of hardline decisions that we need to be making in our communities. Where 14 year olds suffer from liver failure and depression due to the lack of education and information in their family. Where obese 8 year olds can not participate in athletic endeavors.
Politicians may not care to enact policies like these to help our children but parents can make these decisions. Our recommendations are as follows: Juice, excess sugar in the form of processed foods, chips, cereals, candies, etc, need to be eliminated or reduced as much as possible. The evidence is clear that sugar is toxic and we are eating too much of it. Hand your kids a piece of fruit instead of straight juice.