Weight gain for children: it’s all in the juice box
There is no such thing as “hidden calories”. Just look at the nutrition label and you’ll see in seconds the amount of calories, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and fat. Juice Boxes: 100% Natural Juice and Filled with Calories and Sugar and can add hundreds of unnecessary calories a day and are easily replaced with zero-calorie, zero-sugar alternatives.
“Natural”Fruit Juices are NOT Natural:
Orange juice, grape juice, or apple juice, whether you squeeze it or Tropicana or Motts, is not “natural.” Orange juice quarts or apples do not grow on trees nor do grape juice boxes grow on vines. It is the fruit itself that is “natural” and healthy. Squeezing and handling the fruit only removes the protective fibers, making absorption from the stomach even faster. What you end up with is a highly palatable, convenient and inexpensive beverage that has hundreds of extra calories. Coinciding with the rise in childhood obesity was the movement of fruit juices from straight-ahead breakfast beverages to drinks throughout the day. Children take a juice box like they take a glass of water and drink it.
Fruit juice has become the drink of choice for many young children, replacing milk and water.
Juice boxes are everywhere: at home, in schools, day care centers, and of course, in vending machines. The juice is aggressively marketed as a ‘health drink for growing bodies’. It’s the new milk. Packaged in small easy-to-hold boxes with their own straw, they can be taken everywhere. With labels saying how healthy they are and flavors designed to appeal, it’s no wonder there’s such a problem. Drinking fruit juices, especially citrus, causes rapid rises and falls in blood sugar and the need for more and more sugar. Fruit juice does not contain fiber and children who drink it regularly rarely drink water. Not all fruit juices are 100% juice. Some contain high-fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners, as well as artificial colors and preservatives. Most juice boxes have 100 calories and 20 grams of sugar. A child who drinks just one juice box a day, similar to soda or sports drinks, will gain 10 lbs. in a year if it represents excess calories. Hardly any child cuts calories during the day to make up for the extra calories from juice. They quickly become a source of extra calories that were never needed in the first place.
There are “NO Hidden Calories in Drinks:
Calories in beverages aren’t hidden, they’re listed on the Nutrition Facts label, but many people don’t realize how many calories beverages can add to their daily intake. As you can see in the example below, calories from beverages can really add up. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of calorie-free or nearly calorie-free alternatives. See the list below to estimate how many calories your kids and teens are adding from these drinks:
Calories in 12 and 20 oz. of sugary drinks
type of drink
Fruit punch ———– 192 —– 320
Apple juice 100% — 192 ——300
Orange juice 100% – 168 —–280
Regular lemon/lime soda – 148 —247
Normal tail ——————136 —227
Sweetened lemon iced tea – 135– 225
Regular ginger ale ———— 124 –207
Sports drink – ——————–99 —-165
Water Fitness- ——————18——-36
Unsweetened Iced Tea – ——-2 ——–3
Diet soda (with aspartame)— 0*——– 0*
Carbonated water (without sugar)- 0—- 0
Water ————————————— 0 —-0
*Some diet sodas may contain a small number of calories that are not listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
(USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)
Consequence of a single 100-130 calorie drink every day for a year:
Remember that 100 calories a day from any food or drink adds up to 10 lbs. Weight gain for a year. Combine the calories with all the sugar in a tasty drink and you have disaster for the waistlines of adults, children and teens: 100 extra calories a day translates to a 2-inch increase in waist diameter. Every 2 inches increases obesity-related complications by 17%
Normal weight gain in children and adolescents:
With more than 33% of children and adolescents overweight and 14% actually obese, the extra calories in some of these beverages become crucial in reducing childhood obesity. If you look at the charts that show normal height and growth for children ages 6 to 16, you’ll see that it’s normal for a child to gain about 10 pounds. a year Adding just one juice box a day doubles weight gain to 20 lbs. one year.
No additional weight gain can be the goal:
The concept for many families is not always to seek weight loss in growing children, simply putting an end to additional weight gain may be enough for some. For others, one simply needs to reduce the annual weight gain to zero. Very few children and adolescents really need to lose weight by significant amounts.
The ideal plan is to let normal growth and development result in the overweight child reaching a normal weight in one to two years and the normal-weight child who overeats remaining normal.