Historically, fruit juice was recommended by pediatricians as a source of vitamin C and as an extra source of water for healthy infants and young children as their diets expanded to include solid foods with higher renal solute load. It was also sometimes recommended for children with constipation. Fruit juice is marketed as a healthy, natural source of vitamins and, in some instances, calcium. Because juice tastes good, children readily accept it. Although juice consumption has some benefits, it also has potential detrimental effects. High sugar content in juice contributes to increased calorie consumption and the risk of dental caries. In addition, the lack of protein and fiber in juice can predispose to inappropriate weight gain (too much or too little). Pediatricians need to be knowledgeable about juice to inform parents and patients on its appropriate uses.
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