Roundup: No Fruit Juice for Kids Under Age 1, Pediatricians Urge; Even 1 Drink of Alcohol a Day Can Increase Breast Cancer Risk, Study Says

Many parents introduce fruit juice to their kids assuming it’s a healthy option. But that’s necessarily true. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is now recommending that children under a year should drink no juice at all. This updates the previous guidance calling for no juice before six months of age.

When it comes to children, consuming too much fruit juice can actually cause more harm than good. The biggest culprit is excess sugar, which is considered a factor in rising childhood obesity rates and cavities.

“In addition, the lack of protein and fiber in juice can predispose to inappropriate weight gain (too much or too little),” states the AAP. “Pediatricians need to be knowledgeable about juice to inform parents and patients on its appropriate uses.”

Historically, fruit juice has been recommended by pediatricians as a source of vitamin C and as an extra source of liquids for healthy infants and young children as their diets evolve to solid foods.

Children and adolescents continue to be the highest consumers of juice and juice drinks. Meanwhile, healthier beverage options are gaining popularity, including lower-calorie, unsweetened beverages, and those with “perceived benefits from ingredients such as herbs and spices,” says the AAP.

“Unfortunately, data revealed that children 2 to 18 years of age consume nearly half of their fruit intake as juice, which lacks dietary fiber and predisposes to excessive caloric intake,” stated the Academy this week as it introduced its stricter guidance on juices.

Generally, juice drinks contain between 10 percent and 99 percent juice, along with added sweeteners, flavors, and sometimes fortifiers, such as vitamin C or calcium. These ingredients must be listed on the label, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

Children between the ages of 1 and 3 should drink no more than 4 ounces of juice per day — that amount increases to 6 ounces in kids 4 through 6 years of age, pediatricians say. For kids 7 or older, fruit juice — containing 100 percent fruit — should constitute no more than one of the 2 to 2.5 cups of fruit that is recommended for kids to eat each day.

“Although whole fruit is to be encouraged, up to half of the servings can be provided in the form of 100% fruit juice (not fruit drinks),” says the AAP. “A 6-ounce glass of fruit juice equals 1 fruit serving. Fruit juice offers no nutritional advantage over whole fruit.”

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Even 1 Drink of Alcohol a Day Can Increase Breast Cancer Risk, Study Says

Even just one daily drink of alcohol can pose a higher risk of breast cancer for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

The latest report to indicate a possible link between alcohol consumption and cancer comes from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research. Researchers said that drinking an average of 10 grams of alcohol a day — equivalent to a small glass of wine, an 8-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor — is associated with a 5 percent increased risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women and 9 percent increase in postmenopausal women.

Researchers examined 119 observational studies on breast cancer risk from around the world. The studies involved more than 12 million women total and more than 260,000 cases of breast cancer.

“We tried looking separately at beer, wine and spirits, but none jumped out as being more or less problematic. They all showed the same trends,” lead author Anne McTiernan, M.D., told CBS News. She is a cancer prevention expert at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The daily amount of alcohol observed in the study, about 10 grams, is less than the amount in a standard drink, which is about to 14 grams (0.6 ounces) of alcohol, said McTiernan.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 0.6 ounces of alcohol is about the amount found in: 12 ounces of beer (5 percent alcohol content); 8 ounces of malt liquor (7 percent alcohol content); and 5 ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol content).

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Lack of Sleep Linked to Higher Death Risk in Those with ‘Metabolic Syndrome’

More than one-third (35 percent) of U.S. adults likely have a combination of health issues that comprise “metabolic syndrome,” a condition that significantly increases their risk of heart disease and diabetes.

A new study published by the American Heart Association finds that if you add a lack of sleep to the mix, those with metabolic syndrome put themselves at higher risk of premature death. To be exact, sleeping for less than 6 hours per night increases your health risks, and may double the odds of dying from heart disease or stroke, the new research suggests.

People in the study had a high body mass index (BMI) and elevated cholesterol, along with a few other risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, combinations that amount to metabolic syndrome. Over a 17-year period, study participants were twice as likely to die from heart-related issues or stroke, compared to people without the syndrome, researchers found.

“It is possible that improving sleep in people with metabolic syndrome may lead to a better prognosis, which means not worsening into cardiovascular disease or stroke that could ultimately lead to early death,” said study lead researcher Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, a sleep psychologist at the Sleep Research and Treatment Center at Penn State’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

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