There has been some debate about how our beverage choices affect body weight with a focus on sugar content and energy density. Contrary to suggestions from some government bodies, a recent observational study has found that fruit juice consumption was statistically associated with lower body mass index.
The Food4Me study, conducted across seven European countries, included data from 1441 European adults who completed a food frequency questionnaire to evaluate their food and drink habits. Body weight, height and waist circumference were also self-reported over the internet.
The results showed that fruit juice consumption; along with other factors such as eating oily fish, polyunsaturated fat, nuts, dairy, wholegrains and more fibre, fruit and vegetables; were significantly associated with having a lower body mass index. Other factors such as time spent being sedentary were associated with a higher body mass index.
These findings highlight the importance of overall dietary and lifestyle patterns in weight management. Contrary to previous beliefs, drinking fruit juice appears to be part of a favourable dietary pattern that helps, rather than hinders, healthy weight maintenance.