The U.S. government is now considering enacting standards that would regulate, and reduce, the amount of arsenic in apple juice. However, nutritionists are saying that the worry about arsenic levels should be the least of the worries for parents who give their kids apple juice on a regular basis. These nutritionists say that calories are the real concern.
According to the report in the Chicago Tribune, nutritionists are worrying that the sugar level in apple juice is the same, if not worse, than most sodas. Several of them are calling apple juice, essentially, "sugar water."
The experts also warn that feeding children such a sweet beverage conditions them, at a very young age, to crave more sweet things. This can actually create a dependence on sugar in young children that could ultimately lead to weight problems. That’s because kids might pass up better beverages in favor of sugary drinks. High levels of sugar and calories lead to the retention of fat which is part of what’s caused the obesity problem in America.
Many juices end up fortified with vitamins, but nutritionists say that does not do enough to combat the threat posted by the sugar and caloric problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics has told parents that juice, such as apple juice, can be part of a healthy diet as long as it’s consumed in moderation and not fed to kids under 6 months of age. They state that juice has absolutely no nutritional benefit to kids under 6 months.
The largest segment of the population that consumes apple juice are children under the age of 12. Approximately 28 percent of the juice and juice-based drinks are consumed by children under 12. Overall, Americans of all ages consume around 267 ounces of apple juice a year. And that’s just straight apple juice and does not factor apple juice added to foods.