Concerns about orange juice's sugar content have spurred discussions regarding its potential contributions to childhood obesity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between 100% orange juice (OJ) consumption and dietary, lifestyle and anthropometric characteristics in children and adolescents. Baseline anthropometric, dietary and lifestyle data from the Growing Up Today Study I (GUTS I) and GUTS II were collected via self-reported questionnaires from 26,554 participants. The mean values of these variables were then computed for children grouped by categories of OJ consumption, and linear trend testing was used to determine whether OJ consumption was linearly related to these variables. Multivariate adjustment modeling was used to calculate odds ratios of being obese or overweight/obese by OJ consumption. Among both boys and girls, OJ intake was positively associated with height, height-for-age z-score (HAZ), intakes of total energy, total energy excluding OJ, fruits and non-starchy vegetables and physical activity. BMI, BMI z-score and BMI-for-age percentile did not differ by OJ consumption. After adjustment for cohort, age, race, total energy intake without OJ, physical activity and screen time, prevalence of overweight/obesity significantly decreased by OJ intake in boys compared to non-consumers (odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI)): 1.17 (1.02, 1.33) for 1-3 glasses per month, 1.11 (0.98, 1.26) for 1-6 glasses per week, 1.00 (0.85, 1.18) for 1 glass per day, 0.91 (0.73, 1.13) for ≥1 glass per day, p-trend = 0.0403). Prevalence of obesity similarly decreased by OJ intake in boys. Prevalence of overweight/obesity and obesity did not significantly differ by OJ intake in girls. The results indicate that children consuming more OJ tended to practice healthier dietary and lifestyle habits without increased prevalence or odds of obesity or overweight.
Keywords: 100% orange juice; adolescents; anthropometry; children; fruit juice; height; obesity; weight.