American Academy of Pediatrics Statement Advises of Possible Gastrointestinal Effects from Fruit Juice
In an article published in the May 2001 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement on consumption of fruit juice by children. They define fruit juice as 100% fruit juice labeled to disclose if it comes from concentrate. The statement contains suggestions for daily consumption and a warning that too much fruit juice can cause gastrointestinal and other problems.
For children between the ages of 1 to 6 years old, the AAP nutrition committee recommends fruit juice consumption of no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day, and 8 to 12 ounces for children between the ages of 7 to 18 years old.
The statement further advises:
- Fruit juice should not be given to infants before 6 months of age.
- After 6 months of age, infants should not get juice from bottles or cups that allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day.
- Infants should not get fruit juice at bedtime.
- All children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits.
The statement cautions that, because fruit juice contains large amounts of carbohydrate, it can lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and flatulence if consumed in large quantities.
Water is the predominant component of fruit juice. Carbohydrates, including sucrose, fructose, glucose, and sorbitol, are the next most prevalent nutrient in juice.
In appropriate amounts, the AAP acknowledges that 100% fruit juice can be a healthy part of a child's diet.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. The use and misuse of fruit juice in pediatrics. Pediatrics. Vol. 107 No. 5 May 1, 2001 pp. 1210-1213. (doi: 10.1542/peds.107.5.1210)