Longitudinal evaluation of 100% fruit juice consumption on BMI status in 2-5-year-old children

Pediatr Obes. 2016 Jun;11(3):221-7. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12048. Epub 2015 Jun 25.


Background: Obesity in childhood is related to multiple lifestyle factors. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between consumption of 100% fruit juice and weight status over time among pre-school children.

Methods: We used linear and logistic multivariable regression to evaluate body mass index (BMI) z-score and overweight/obese status as a function of 100% fruit juice intake for 8950 children examined at ages 2, 4 and 5 years as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, a representative sample of the United States.

Results: Cross-sectional analysis at ages 4 and 5 years showed no difference in the prevalence of overweight and obesity between consistent juice drinkers and inconsistent/non-drinkers. Longitudinal analysis found that children who drank 100% juice consistently at age 2 years had greater increases in BMI z-score by age 4 years than infrequent/non-drinkers (P < 0.0001), a difference driven by lesser increases in height z-score (P = 0.0003) and slightly greater increases in weight z-score (P = 0.0550) among consistent juice drinkers over the 2 to 4 year time period. Additionally, consistent juice drinkers at age 2 had higher odds of becoming overweight by age 4 (adjusted odds ratio 1.30; CI 1.06-1.60). These differences in growth parameters were not noted between ages 4 and 5 years.

Conclusions: Drinking 100% fruit juice regularly at age 2 is associated with higher odds of becoming overweight between 2 and 4 years. Paediatricians and parents can discourage excessive fruit juice consumption as part of a larger effort to avoid unhealthy gain in BMI in young children.

Keywords: fruit juice; obesity; sugar; weight gain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • United States