According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, apples and bananas dominate kids’ fruit intake. The study has pleased health care experts in the United States by revealing that children in the country are having around 1.25 cups of fruit every day, which is a great number considering that the current recommendation is 1 to 2 cups per day.
However, there’s bad news too. Researchers conducting the study have found that a third of all fruits consumed by US kids are taken in the form of juice. What’s more, the number jumps to 40.9% when it comes to kids under five.
After sharing the above mentioned facts put forward by the new Pediatrics study, Professor Yoni Freedhoff of University of Ottawa’s family medicine department said that juice lacks the nutrition and fiber we get from whole fruits and is not enough. He added that juice is basically water containing a hefty amount of free sugar, as a result of which it is more similar to soda than the fruits it has been extracted from.
According to the study, juice indeed constitutes the next biggest portion of children’s fruit intake in the United States. The numbers presented by the researchers suggest that while 53% of children’s fruit consumption comes from different types of whole fruits, as much as a third comes from fruit juices. Another 14% gets sourced from mixed fruit items such as fruit drinks.
The above-mentioned numbers stand true when eating habits of all races/ethnicities and groups are taken into consideration. Those percentages vary slightly between different demographic groups.
For instance, 60% of fruits consumed by the Asian adolescents consist of whole fruits. The Latino and white teens, on the other hand, get 55% of the fruits consumed by them in the form of whole fruits. In case of black teens, the percentage is just 43%.
The study found that among younger children, the grade schoolers i.e. the ones aged between 6 and 11 years consume more whole fruits compared to the preschoolers. While the 57% of the fruits consumed by grade schoolers come in the form of whole fruits, just 49% of the preschoolers’ daily fruit intake comes from whole fruits.