Kids Drink Too Much Juice, Doctors Say

I am a loyal, dues paying, member of the American Academy of Pediatrics but I think they were silly when they said last week that fruit juices are causing our kids to get a sweet tooth and get too fat. They also say that small babies should not drink juice for these same reasons.

It is true that juice has lots of sugar - more than pop. Juice has lots of calories too, but not more than milk. And milk has more fat. It is true that sometimes the sugars in juice, especially sorbitol and fructose, can cause diarrhea and stomach aches. And finally sugar causes cavities, sure.

However there is no evidence, contrary to the warnings of the American Academy of Pediatrics, that juice drinking causes obesity or is bad for your health when compared to any other soft drink including water.

There has been one report of a study that linked obesity with fruit juice consumption but those findings have been largely refuted.

Common sense is called for. Sometimes kids drink juice because they're thirsty, they don't need a ton of sugar, just the water. At my house there's a running argument about how to mix the frozen juice. I think it tastes better more diluted, but my wife and kids don't. We all agree about making popsicles from juice, it has to be more concentrated for that; but for drinking, dilute is better, according to me. See what you think.

It has long been noted that in France they have less heart disease, even though they eat very rich food. This has been attributed to their big wine consumption. It used to be thought that it was the alcohol that was good for the heart. But now it has been found that the benefit of wine comes mostly from the grape juice.

Whether its wine or juice, maybe we should do like the ancient Greeks and Romans. They never drank wine straight, always diluted with water.