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New research shows no adverse association between change in Body Mass Index (BMI) and consumption of 100 % orange juice among older children adding to a growing list of studies suggesting children and teens can benefit from regularly drinking 100 % orange juice without concerns about weight gain. The four-year longitudinal study published in Pediatric Obesity found that drinking 100 % orange juice was associated with smaller changes in BMI over time in girls, with no significant effect on BMI in boys.

The analysis by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Harvard’s School of Public Health and Medical School included children ages 9 to 16 who were followed from 2004 through 2008.1 The analysis showed there was a clear lack of a connection between orange juice and increased BMI in this age group. One hundred percent orange juice contributed, on average, between 40 to 50 calories to the daily diet while milk contributed almost four times that amount, from 150 to 180 calories. This amount of orange juice represents under 4 ounces per day on average, which falls well below the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which suggests limits for 100 % fruit juice consumption of 8 oz. daily for children over 7. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans counts 100 % fruit juice as a fruit serving and recommends that primary beverages either be calorie free – especially water – or contribute beneficial nutrients, such as fat-free and low-fat milk and 100 % fruit juice.2

“Children in this age group fail to consume adequate amounts of fruit and certain micronutrients such as vitamin C and potassium,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, Director of Scientific Research at the Florida Department of Citrus. “Although the preferred choice is whole fruit, this research supports that moderate consumption of 100 % orange juice can be a beneficial addition to the diet to help meet fruit intake recommendations and is unlikely to contribute to childhood obesity.”

This longitudinal study, funded by an unrestricted grant by the Florida Department of Citrus, adds to the growing body of scientific research supporting the role of 100 % orange juice in adults’ and children’s diets.

  • Another data analysis of nearly 14,000 Americans, ages 4 and older, concluded that people who drink 100% orange juice have lower BMI and healthier lifestyle behaviors than people who don’t drink orange juice.3
  • A longitudinal analysis of more than 7,300 children and adolescents in the GUTSII cohort concluded that 100% fruit juice or OJ intake was not associated with negative effects on body weight, BMI or BMI percentile. In fact, higher OJ intake was associated with greater changes (positive) in height for girls.4
  • A trend analysis for children reported that despite higher energy intakes, there was no significant difference in physical activity levels, percent overweight or obese, or BMI z-score when comparing kids who consume 100 % orange juice versus those who don’t.5
  • A comprehensive review performed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for their Evidence Analysis Library examined the association between 100 % fruit juice intake and weight in children and concluded that the evidence does not support an association between 100 % fruit juice consumption and weight status or adiposity in children ages 2 to 18 years of age.6

Every glass of 100 % orange juice supports overall health and can help adults and children meet intake recommendations for key nutrients they may be lacking in their diets. An 8-oz. serving size contains vital vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin C, potassium, folate, hesperidin and more, with no added sugar. From helping improve diet quality to providing key nutrients that can help support a healthy immune system, 100 % orange juice offers a number of health benefits and can also easily be incorporated into simple, great-tasting recipes.

About the Florida Department of Citrus
The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs more than 37,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $6.5 billion to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads and health care services.

1Sakaki JR et al. Pediatric Obesity. 2021;Mar 1:e12781.
2USDA and USDHHS. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at
3Wang et al. Pub Health Nutr. 2012;15(12):2220-2227.
4Sakaki et al. Public Health Nutr. 2020 Oct 7;1-8.
5Nicklas et al. International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition. 2020;9(3):100-114.
6Evidence Analysis Library (EAL), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dietary and Metabolic Impact of Fruit Juice Consumption Evidence Analysis Project.

In MY 2019/20, EU citrus production is projected to lower 11 percent to 10.4 MMT. This production forecast is four percent higher than previous estimates. Unfavorable weather conditions in Spain, the EU’s main citrus producer, accounts for the projected drop in overall production. The decline in EU citrus production may encourage EU imports while EU citrus exports remain flat in response to higher domestic EU demand. Strategic export markets destinations for EU citrus continue to be Canada, the Middle East, and China. In MY2019/20, U.S. tariffs related to the World Trade Organization Case against EU aircraft subsidies will likely impact Spanish exports of clementines and lemons. During the Covid-19 pandemic, domestic demand for citrus held strong as consumers looked for foods to strengthen the immune system. As of the date of this report, EU citrus exports have not been directly impacted by the pandemic.

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The total cherry production forecast in Turkey in Marketing Year (MY) 2019/20 is 865,000 metric tons (MT), which is 41,000 MT more than MY 2018/19. The peach and nectarine production forecast for MY 2019/20 is 830,000 MT, 40,000 MT more than MY 2018/19. Stone fruit exports are increasing due to abundant production and strong demand from the Russian and EU markets. Turkey has begun exporting fresh sweet cherries to China for the first time. This report covers cherries, peaches, and nectarines.

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MY 2018/19 EU citrus production is projected to reach 11.6 MMT, an eight percent rise compared to previous year and consistent with previous estimates. The regional increase is due to an expected rebound in Spanish production, the EU’s main citrus producer. Favorable weather conditions facilitated good flowering and fruit setting. Spain expects a 14.6 percent increase in citrus production from the previous year at 7.3 MMT and 0.4 percent higher than previous estimates. In February 2019, Spanish growers protested against the European Commission as the rise in EU imports of South African citrus lowered EU prices. However, the rebound of EU citrus production may result in a reduction in EU citrus imports. Strategic markets destinations for EU citrus exports continue to be Canada, the Middle East and China. In addition, in MY 2017/18 EU imports of U.S. grapefruit and orange juice declined due to a decrease in U.S. production.

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EU-28 production of peaches and nectarines in MY 2018/19 is estimated at 3.5 million MT, 12 percent lower compared to the previous campaign due to unfavorable weather conditions in most of the major producing countries.

Total cherry production in MY 2018/19 is projected to grow to 793,058 MT, a 30 percent increase compared with last season. This increase is supported by expected strong growth in Poland and Germany.

The value of EU-28 stone fruit exports continues to decline as a result of the 2014 Russian embargo imposed on agricultural and food products, including stone fruit, from the European Union. During MY 2017/18, EU imports of U.S. cherries increased significantly, valued at $ 9.4 million, and reinstated the United States as the fourth largest non-EU supplier of cherries. …

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