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Low-income families feed kids too much juice

health and fitness Updated: Feb 24, 2012 13:45 IST
AFP
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Children of low-income families are being fed too much fruit juice compared to children who come from higher-income families, says a new US report.



A new study released from the University of Michigan has found that of parents whose household income is less than $30,000 (22,500€) annually, nearly half (49 percent) report that their children drink two or more cups of juice a day -- twice the amount recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).



In children aged 1 to 5, the AAP recommends limiting fruit juice consumption to one serving a day.



Meanwhile, the percentage of children coming from wealthier families -- defined as households making $100,000 (75,200€) or more -- who drink more than the recommended intake of fruit juice dips to 23 percent.



In the ongoing crusade to curb childhood obesity in the US, fruit juice has become the target of public health and physician's groups who say there's a strong link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity and early tooth decay in children.



In their wide-ranging poll of parents of all income levels, overall 35 percent of parents said they give their kids two or more cups of juice on a typical day.



Perhaps one of the most common motives behind feeding children fruit juice is to help them get their daily recommended serving of fruit a day. But good intentions are often thwarted by misleading juice brands that contain nearly as much sugar as soda, says the AAP.



"Parents may think juice is an easy way for their child to get a serving of fruit, but it's often difficult to pick out 100 percent fruit juice amid the sugar-sweetened juice drinks," said group spokesperson Sarah Clark in a statement.



The AAP also recommends limiting 100 percent fruit juice to one serving a day.



Last year, apple juice in the US suffered a bad rap after a popular American talk show and medical personality, Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show, warned that commercial grocery store brands contained high levels of arsenic.



A Consumer Reports investigation also found that 10 percent of 88 samples tested had total arsenic levels that exceeded US federal drinking-water standards of 10 parts per billion (ppb), the same threshold as the European Union.