February 11, 2005

GOT MILK? (via Robert Schwartz):

Doctors Say Kids Should Skip Juices (J.M. HIRSCH, 2/10/05, AP)

Soda in a sippy cup? Most parents wouldn't dream of it. But researchers say that when a baby's bottle or cup is filled with juice -- even the 100 percent, all-natural, no-sugar-added stuff -- parents might as well be pouring Pepsi.

A growing body of science is linking sweet drinks, natural or otherwise, to a host of child health concerns, everything from bulging bellies to tooth decay.

``All of these beverages are largely the same. They are 100 percent sugar,'' Dr. David Ludwig, an expert on pediatric obesity at Children's Hospital Boston, said recently. ``Juice is only minimally better than soda.''

The trouble is that parents who are quick to limit a child's soft drink consumption often overlook or even encourage juice indulgence thanks to the beverage's good-for-you image.

But that image can be overstated. Though healthy in moderation, juice essentially is water and sugar. In fact, a 12-ounce bottle of grape soda has 159 calories. The same amount of unsweetened grape juice packs 228 calories.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 11, 2005 6:26 AM

Like this is a surprise.

Vegetarianism stunts children's intellectual and physical growth. In Holland, a study was conducted which found that children raised on a macrobiotic diet are several inches smaller and several IQ points dumber than their counterparts raised on a traditional Dutch diet, with lots of fatty meats, fish and butter.

Now these prepackaged, preservative-laden fruit juices are bad for babies. Whoda thunk it?

These doctors and soi-disant experts have so much contradictory advice out there that a parent who tried to pore through all the info out there and make sense of it would go completely bonkers.

At least Hattie McDaniel had the decency to say, 'I don't know nuthin bout birthin babies, Miz Scarlett.' Would that our solons of the caduceus had the same integrity.

Posted by: Bart at February 11, 2005 8:15 AM

I've found a good relatively low-sugar substitute -- Fruit2O. Still tastes sweet and fruity, but less than 1/20 the sugar of soda, and natural.

Posted by: pj at February 11, 2005 8:52 AM

I'm not a doctor, but doesn't this overlook the fact that a can of Coke has zero nutritional value, while a glass of orange or grapefruit juice has vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, etc.?

Posted by: foos at February 11, 2005 10:50 AM

My wife decided on a good, no-sugar substitute: H2O from the post-breast feeding git-go.

My kids won't touch soft drinks or juice (other than the obligatory am-OJ) with a barge-pole.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at February 11, 2005 12:11 PM

My baby is 17, 6'1", 155 and very fast. As far as I am concerned he can drink what he wants to drink as long he drinks with me and doesn't drive afterward. IIRC, he and his older sisters, who are normal girl sizes, went through lots of apple juice when they were kids. Didn't hurt them much. Sure didn't seem to stunt their growth or make them fat. I just assume this is another blast from the diet and exercise nazis, who think the Federal goverment isn't busy enough if it isn't telling you what to eat.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 11, 2005 12:27 PM

Gee, my skinny toddler drinks juice like a fiend, and his dentist thinks his teeth are the best he's ever seen.

I presume outlawing juice is next.

Posted by: Chris at February 11, 2005 10:48 PM