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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 will see the number of calories, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and fat in seconds. Juices: 100% natural juice and loaded with calories and sugar and can add hundreds of calories a day that are not needed and can easily be replaced with zero calories and zero sugar.
“Natural” fruit juices are NOT natural:
Orange juice, grape juice or apple juice whether you squeeze it or Tropicana or Motts are not “natural”. Quarters of orange juice or apples don’t grow on trees, and cartons of grape juice don’t grow on vines. It is the fruit itself that is “natural” and healthy. Squeezing and handling the fruit will only remove the protective fibers, thereby speeding up absorption from the stomach. What you end up with is a highly palatable, convenient and cheap drink that has hundreds of extra calories. At the same time as the increase in childhood obesity, there has been a shift in fruit juices from purely breakfast drinks to all-day drinks. Children pick up a juice box like they might pick up and drink a glass of water.
Fruit juice has become the drink of choice for many young children, replacing milk and water.
Juice boxes are everywhere – at home, in schools, in kindergartens and of course in vending machines. The juice is aggressively marketed as a “healthy drink for growing bodies.” It’s new milk. Packaged in small, easy-to-grab boxes with their own straws, they can be carried anywhere. With labels touting how healthy they are and flavors designed to entice, it’s no wonder there’s such a problem. Drinking fruit juices, especially citrus juices, causes a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels and the need for more and more sugar. Fruit juices do not contain fiber, and children who drink them 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 carton of juice a day, similar to soft drinks or sports drinks, will gain 10 pounds in a year if that represents excess calories. Almost no kids cut calories during the day to make up for the added calories in the 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 drinks are not hidden, they are listed right on the nutrition facts label, but many people don’t realize how many calories drinks can contribute to their daily intake. As you can see in the example below, the calories from drinks can really add up. But the good news is that there are many zero or near-zero alternatives. Check out the list below to estimate how many calories your kids and teens are adding from these drinks:
Calories in 12 and 20 oz. sweetened drinks
Type of drink
Fruit Punch ———– 192 —– 320
100% apple juice — 192 ——300
100% orange juice – 168 —– 280
Lemonade – ———–168 —–280
Regular Lemon/Lime Soda – 148 — 247
Regular Coke – ——————-136 —227
Sweetened lemon iced tea – 135– 225
Regular Ginger Ale ———— 124 –207
Sports drink – ——————–99 —-165
Fitness water- ——————18—— 36
Unsweetened Iced Tea – ——-2 ——–3
Diet soda (with aspartame)— 0*——– 0*
Carbonated water (unsweetened)- 0—- 0
Water ————————————- 0 —-0
*Some diet soft drinks 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 one 100-130 calorie drink every day for a year:
Remember, 100 calories a day from any food or drink adds 10 pounds. weight gain per year. Combine the calories with all the sugar in a tasty drink and you have a disaster for adults, children and teens: an extra 100 calories a day translates into a 2-inch increase in waist size. Every 2 inches increases obesity-related complications by 17%
Normal weight gain in children and adolescents:
With more than 33% of children and teens overweight and 14% actually obese, the extra calories in some of these drinks are critical to reducing childhood obesity. If you look at the charts showing the normal growth and height of children from 6 to 16 years old, you will see that it is normal for a child to gain about 10 pounds. Adding just one box of juice a day doubles weight gain to 20 pounds per year.
No further weight gain may be the goal:
The concept for many families is not always to look for weight loss in growing children, just the end of extra weight gain can be good enough for some. For others, it is simply necessary to reduce the annual weight gain to zero. Very few children and adolescents really need to lose significant amounts of weight.
The ideal plan is to allow normal growth and development to result in the overweight child reaching normal weight in a year or two and the normal weight overeating child remaining normal.
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