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Study: Drinking Orange Juice Linked To Lower Obesity Risk

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 9:43am

BARTOW, Fla. (PRNewswire) — Orange juice may do more for your diet and overall health than you may think, according to results of a recently published study in Nutrition Journal.

Data from this study suggests adults who drink 100 percent orange juice tended to have better overall diet quality, higher intake of key nutrients and less risk of being overweight than adults who don't drink orange juice.1

As part of the study, researchers analyzed data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and reported that adults age 19 years and older who consumed 100 percent orange juice tended to have significantly better Healthy Eating Index scores (a measure of diet quality that assesses conformance to federal dietary guidance) as well as greater intake of several key nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin A, than those who didn't consume 100 percent orange juice.

"A growing body of research has painted a clear picture that enhanced nutrient intake and better diet quality appears to be associated with drinking 100 percent orange juice in adults," said study co-author Carol E. O'Neil, PhD, MPH, LDN, RD, School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. "Our research helps to demonstrate that drinking 100 percent orange juice is associated with higher intake of four important nutrients: vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and folate, which are generally underconsumed by the U.S. population."2

One Hundred Percent Orange Juice Consumption also Linked to Lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and Reduced Risk of Obesity
The study also reported that compared to non-consumers, consumption of 100 percent orange juice was associated with a lower mean body mass index (BMI) and a 21 percent reduction in the risk of obesity in men and women. In addition, male consumers of 100 percent orange juice had a 36 percent reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions—including increased blood pressure, elevated blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.3

Relation to Dietary Guidelines for Americans
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the "total diet" should consist of nutrient-dense foods that provide essential nutrients and health benefits. In addition to consumers of 100 percent orange juice having higher intakes of fruit juice than non-consumers, the study reported that consumption of 100 percent orange juice was associated with higher intakes of whole fruit and whole grains.

"People can feel good about enjoying one hundred percent orange juice daily because it fits many of the key recommendations outlined in the Dietary Guidelines," said Gail Rampersaud, MS, RD, LDN, Associate in Nutrition Research and Education, University of Florida. "In addition to helping individuals meet fruit intake recommendations, one serving of 100 percent orange juice is more nutrient dense than many commonly-consumed 100 percent fruit juices, and it's a good source of potassium and folate, as well as an excellent source of vitamin C, three nutrients that are underconsumed in the United States."2,4

Editor's Note: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is an ongoing series of surveys, implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that are designed to assess the health and nutritional status of children and adults in the United States. The NHANES surveys are conducted and analyzed in a way to be representative of the U.S. population. The analysis published in Nutrition Journal used 2003-2006 data from more than 8,800 adults aged 19 and older.

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 nearly 76,000 people, provides an annual economic impact close to $9 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. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit www.floridajuice.com.  

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