Juice Drinks for Toddlers - How Much Is Too Much?

Medical Author: Melissa Stoppler, M.D.
Medical Editor: Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.

Sweet drinks, including fruit juices without added sugar, may increase the risk of developing obesity in early childhood, according to a new study.

The researchers studied nearly 11,000 children ages 2 and 3 living in Missouri. Their families were taking part in a nutrition program for low-income households. The researchers measured the children's height and weight and asked their families to record the children's daily consumption of sweet drinks during a four-week period at the start of the study.

Sweet drinks included sodas such as colas, fruit drinks such as Kool-Aid, and fruit juices such as orange juice. The parents reported that their children tended to drink more fruit juices than other types of sweet drinks. The children's height and weight were reassessed after a year.

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