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Weight Gain For Children – It’s All in the Juice Box
There are no “hidden calories”. Just look at the nutrition label and in seconds you’ll see the number of calories, carbs, sugar, protein and fat. Juice boxes: 100% natural juice and loaded with calories and sugar and can add hundreds of calories a day that are not necessary and 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 are not “natural”. Quarts of orange juice or apples do not grow on trees, nor cases of grape juice 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 very nice, convenient and inexpensive drink that has hundreds of extra calories. Coinciding with the increase in childhood obesity was the movement of fruit juices from purely breakfast drinks to all-day drinks. Kids pick up a juice box as they could 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, at daycare and, of course, in vending machines. The juice is being aggressively marketed as a “healthy drink for growing bodies.” It’s the new milk. Packaged in small, easy-to-hold boxes with their own straw, they can be taken anywhere. With labels touting how healthy they are and tastes designed to entice, it’s no wonder there’s a problem. Drinking fruit juices, especially citrus juices, causes rapid rises and falls in blood sugar and the need for more and more sugar. Fruit juice contains no 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 box of juice a day, similar to soda or sports drinks, will gain 10 pounds in a year if it represents excess calories. Almost no children cut calories during the day to compensate for the added 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 drinks are not hidden, they are listed directly on the nutrition facts label, but many people do not realize how many calories drinks can contribute to their daily intake. As you can see from the example below, the calories in drinks can really add up. However, the good news is that there are many zero-calorie or near-zero-calorie 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. of sugary 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
Normal Glue – ——————136 —227
Sweetened lemon iced tea – 135– 225
Regular Ginger Ale ———— 124 –207
Sports drink – ——————–99 —-165
Fitness water- ——————-18—— 36
Iced tea without sugar – ——-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, 100 calories a day from any food or drink adds 10 pounds. weight gain during a year. Combine the calories with all the sugar in a tasty drink and you have waistline disaster for adults, children and teenagers: an extra 100 calories a day translates into a 2-inch increase in waist circumference. Every 2 inches increases obesity-related complications by 17%
Normal weight gain in children and adolescents:
With more than 33% of children and teenagers overweight, and 14% actually obese, the extra calories in some of these drinks become crucial to reducing childhood obesity. If you look at the charts showing normal growth and height for children ages 6 to 16, you’ll see that it’s normal for a child to gain about 10 pounds. per year. Adding just one juice box a day doubles weight gain to 20 pounds a year.
The goal may be no additional weight gain:
The concept for many families is not always to look for weight loss in growing children, just ending the extra weight gain may be good enough for some. For others, just reduce the annual weight gain to zero. Very few children and teenagers really need to reduce their weight by a significant amount.
The ideal plan is to let normal growth and development cause the overweight child to reach normal weight within a year or two and for the overeating child to remain normal.
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