Sugar-containing beverages are often seen as a negative influence on diet quality and body weight control. The present study examines the consumption of 100% fruit juice (FJ) based on a seven-day dietary survey in a representative sample of French adults (n = 1607). About a half of the participants (44%) consumed FJ, most often at breakfast time (60%). Average intake in FJ consumers was 115.6 ± 4.0 mL/day (46.3 ± 1.7 kcal/day). Prevalence of consumption increased with education and income and decreased with age, but no association was observed with body mass index (BMI), physical activity, or smoking. In consumers, FJ brought 2% daily energy and contributed larger proportions of vitamins (B1 7%, B2 3%, B5 5%, B6 6%, B9 10%, C 32%, E 9%, beta-carotene 5%), minerals (magnesium 4%, potassium 7%), and free sugars (19%). FJ consumers ingested more whole fruits, vegetables, and many other foods than non-consumers did. Free sugars represented 11.2% of the daily energy in FJ consumers versus 8.6% in non-consumers. This cross-sectional survey reveals that FJ contributes to diet quality without association with excess body weight. These observations should be confirmed in longitudinal studies. They support the view that contribution to diet quality should be specifically recognized in the context of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended decrease of free sugar intake.
Keywords: BMI; WHO recommendation; diet quality; free sugar; fruit juice; sugar-containing beverages.