People in Yorkshire and the Humber among the worst fruit and vegetable consumers in the UK

This week, the British Fruit Juice Association announces the findings of its largest ever independent study into pure fruit juice consumption across the UK.

The major analysis reveals the UK regions that consume the least fruit and vegetables; while verifying that pure fruit juice drinkers have a better nutrient intake and are more likely to reach their daily fruit & vegetables target than non-consumers.

The UK Fruit Juice Health and Diet Quality Study examined six years’ worth of existing National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS)[2] data including new data, made available in February 2017 for years 5 & 6, to understand the positive effects that drinking pure fruit juice may have for those who consume vs those who do not. The analysis of nearly 6,000 children and adults also reviewed how much pure fruit juice is being drunk and by whom across the nation.

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The study comes at a time when people are confused about both sugar intake and how to get their vitamins and minerals from food[3]. What’s more, currently all age groups are falling short on 5-a-day consumption of fruit and vegetables, and a small 150ml portion of pure juice counts towards this target.

The most positive result of this study is that fruit juice consumers have a lower BMI and waist circumference than non-consumers. As this is a cross-sectional study, this is a correlation and may not necessarily be cause and effect, but clearly pure fruit juice consumption is associated with an all-around healthier lifestyle:

Adult pure fruit juice drinkers had significantly lower BMI (by 1.1 units)

Adult waist circumference was also significantly lower in pure fruit juice consumers, by 3.2cm in women and 2.7cm in men

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Consuming pure fruit juice is associated with a higher, not lower, consumption of fruit and vegetables across all age categories

Adults and teenagers who drink fruit juice are almost twice as likely to reach their recommended target of 5-a-day, than non-drinkers. The current national average is under 3 portions for teenagers and just under 4 portions for adults

Consultant Dietitian Sian Porter comments: “I think it’s fair to say that people are still confused about pure fruit juice and its role in health. As this study demonstrates, the benefits of a 150ml portion of fruit juice as part of a healthier diet and its contribution to our 5-a-day, alongside health indicators such as BMI shouldn’t be overlooked.

“The 5-a-day goal has been around for quite some time but it is still far from being achieved by people in Yorkshire and the Humber and, coupled with the most recent recommendation to strive for 10-a-day[4], people may be feeling overwhelmed.

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“We, as healthcare professionals, can help everyone make this more of an achievable goal by knowing that a portion of pure fruit juice (150ml) counts towards that daily target and suggesting other small changes such as adding a vegetable side dish or having vegetables as snacks.”

One 150ml glass of pure fruit juice is a source of potassium and folate, which supports healthy cell division, and orange juice specifically provides 100% of your recommended vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system. 100% pure fruit juice also contains no added sugar.