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    Includes Expert Content
    Limiting Sugary Drinks - Good Stuff to Know!
    Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff posted:
    I still remember my pediatricians words loud and clear when I brought up which juice to buy, "She ONLY needs milk and water, she does NOT need juice."

    We are the sad house that does not have juice blends or sodas in our home on a regular basis. Now, don't get me wrong, if we go out to dinner or have a party we have juices and lemonade. She has also discovered root beer and loves it.

    See what Elaine Magee has to say about how the average American consumes 13 pounds of sugar each month! and then come back and let us know if this is something that surprised you.

    Roy Benaroch, MD responded:
    I wrote about that last week, too:

    Here's another way of thinking about juice: start with nice fresh healthy fruit. Take everything good out of it. What's left? Juice.
    Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:
    I love your juice thought!

    Crud, I missed your blog somehow! Sorry about that.

    Here is a direct link to Dr. Benaroch's blog -

    Want A Healthier Weight? Stop Drinking Soda Calories

    I like your comments about getting sweetened beverages out of the daily routine.

    sarahann1978 responded:
    I don't know, the article is about soda, which I totally get and we once in a blue moon allow our 2.5 year old a sip of caffeine free root beer at a birthday party. But otherwise no soda.

    On juices though, our son is not overweight. He also doesn't really care for milk, but I have found that he likes OJ fortified with calcium. He prefers juice over water and when we give it to him we dilute it to about half juice/half water. I have a hard time when someone tries to vilify juice and put it in the same category as soda.

    I work with a community that is plagued with obesity. I see what their kids are eating and it's complete junk. All they drink is soda and they live on candy, chips and hot dogs. The sad thing is when I work with them I offer them a platter of fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese and multigrain crackers and they devour the healthy foods and love them, so it's sad that they are not offered a more healthy diet.

    I guess in my mind, I think sometimes professionals who council in health are out of touch with the real habits of the people they council. I have watched that show "The Doctors" from time to time and they do it all the time when they have their eat this, not that segments. It's like really?, the things you're suggesting that they not eat would be an improvement for most obese Americans who are living on processed and fast food. I know that there is a huge obesity problem in the country, but is it really because of juice? When I am making sure that my son is eating a healthy balanced diet and at a healthy weight, I don't like the guilt trip over allowing him to drink a little juice. I feel like it's a case of not missing the forest for the trees, but that is just my opinion.
    nursingbug replied to sarahann1978's response:
    Well, sugar from soda is not any different chemically from sugar from juice, the body doesn't see a difference. My mil was giving my daughter juice 3-4 times a day and she became overweight from it. When we cut it out, she went down a normal weight.
    My strategy is only allowing juice or soda once or so a week, so either is a treat. When I was a kid I drank a lot of kool aid, and I was overweight young as well. I don't want her to have the same issues.
    kay_kay75 replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:
    Dr Benaroch,

    Your article speaks only of soda, what about the juice issue? I have personally decided that my daugther will have NO juice before she is 2 and then it will be VERY limited. Some say I am overprotective, but both her father and I have struggled (and still do) with our weight so I figure if I teach her that water is the best thing for her and I start that habit young that will be for the best.

    I know that the WIC office in our state has stopped providing juice as part of their program for children, which I think is great, but to hear the people complain about it is terrible!
    sarahann1978 replied to nursingbug's response:
    Yes, I think 3-4 times a day is excessive, and I would question what kind of juice it was too, was it 100% pure juice or some sort of sugar laden cocktail? I only give my son 100% juice and I dilute it with water and only like one cup a day. We have no weight issues, and the juice I give him still has a fraction of the sugar that is in soda. Soda also offers no beneficial nutrients like vitamin C and calcium like the juice does. Yes I know there are other better sources of vitamin C and calcium, but if he is going to drink something I would prefer it to the completely dead calories of soda or koolaid.

    Do you also know for sure that you MIL wasn't pumping her up with other delicious sources of calories? I know that MIL's are notorious for giving cookies and candy and crap, especially behind our backs.
    Roy Benaroch, MD replied to sarahann1978's response:
    Sugar from juice is almost all fructose, and sugar from soda is....all fructose (from high fructose corn syrup.) It's the same.

    12 oz of Cocacola is 140 calories, all of which are from fructose (sugar, essentially.) It has no other nutritional value.

    12 oz of orange juice is 170 calories, all of which are from fructose-- in fact, there is more sugar in OJ than in juice, as reflected in the higher calories.

    OJ does contain plenty of vitamin C, well over a day's worth in one serving. But vitamin C deficiency is not seen in the USA, ever, except perhaps in cases of mental illness and neglect. There is also a bit of vitamin A in OJ, probably 10% of the RDA in one serving. That is it.

    So: OJ has more calories, more sugar, and some vitamin C that your child probably doesn't need. And not enough vitamin A to make any difference to anyone. Nutritionally, it's similar enough to soda that you might as well think of it as soda. I do.

    Now: some OJ is fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D, and those nutrients ARE deficient in many children. I believe there are better sources (skim milk-- has protein, potassium, phosphorus, vit A, vit D, calcium in a very bioavailable form, wow!) But if Junior is anti-milk, OJ w/ Calcium to me seems like one reasonable alternative.

    Also: it's my job to give you the facts, to tell you you science based info. But I promise, I don't expect anyone to be 100% perfect parents. I know I'm not. If you've decided to give your child juice daily, that doesn't make you a bad parent. But I do think it's better to get your child (and YOU!) used to drinking what is best: water and milk. Save treats for treaty-time.

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