In previous columns I have reported that the intake of soft drinks in children is strongly linked with the risks of being overweight and obesity. I have also stated that I am not a fan of undiluted fruit juices, mainly on account of the fact that they have a sugar concentration that is about the same as that of sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
In a study published this month in the journal Pediatrics, American researchers assessed the association between soft-drink and fruit-juice consumption in a group of children who were aged from two to three years old. Over the course of a year, the researchers found that the drinking of sweet drinks in normal-weight children was associated with an increased risk of being overweight, but this was not statistically significant. In heavier children, however, drinking one or more sweet drinks a day (compared to drinking less than one sweet drink per day) was found to roughly double the risk of becoming or remaining overweight during the course of the study.
This study adds further weight to the notion that sweet drinks, including fruit juice, should be limited in children's diets.