The graphics on this site, all from the early 1950s,
were painted by Pete Hawley and can be seen at
SITE. Who is behind Hooked on Juice? Dave Hall in Virginia. Not the soda
industry, not some big advocacy organization. Just me. I’m
an editor at a newspaper that not too long ago published an
article on the controversy over vending machines
in schools and how parents want to get rid of soft drinks
and replace them with “natural” beverages like fruit juice —
but only “healthy” fruit juice, meaning juice with no sugar
added. Unfortunately the article failed to point out that
100 percent fruit juice (orange, apple etc.), even with no sugar
added, has just as much sugar (and just as many calories) as
Coke or Pepsi! Duh. Anyway, I graduated from the University
of Florida in 1986 with degrees in chemistry and
E-mail me here.
JUST WHAT IS THE SUGAR CONTENT OF FRUIT JUICE?
We’ll use orange, apple, cherry and grape juice as examples. Even with
no sugar added, fruit juice contains about the same amount of sugar
as the same amount of soft drink.
Because apples, oranges and grapes are naturally full of sugar.
(No surprise there: Processed sugar comes from plants, usually corn
or sugar cane or sugar beets.) The table below compares the sugar in
12 ounces of juice (no sugar added) with 12 ounces (one can) of
Coca-Cola. If you look at the nutrition label on a can of Coke or
fruit juice, the “carbohydrate” is mostly sugar. Four grams of
sugar carbs equal approximately 1 teaspoon of
ounces of >>>>>>>
Carbs from sugar
WHAT DOES THE CHART TELL US? It tells
us that no matter which juice you choose, they all have more
calories than the same amount of Coke. It tells us that juice — 100
percent juice, no sugar added — contains about the same amount of
sugar (or even more — 50 percent more for grape juice) as the same volume of Coke. For
this comparison we used: Classic Coke, Tropicana HomeStyle Orange
Juice, Walnut Acres Organic 100 Percent Apple Juice, Eden Organic
Montmorency Cherry Juice (no sweetener added) and R.W. Knudsen
Unsweetened Concord Grape Juice. The numbers in the chart were
the nutrition labels on the containers.
WHETHER FRUIT JUICE is “100 percent
juice” or not is almost beside the point — both kinds are loaded
with sugar and calories. If it’s “100 percent juice” the sugar is from the
fructose that’s naturally present in fruit; if it’s “10 percent
juice” (or 20 percent, or whatever), most of the sugar is in the form
of high-fructose corn syrup. Snacking on sugary beverages all
day long, whether they’re soft drinks or fruit juice, is not a good
thing, for kids or adults. Over-consumption of sugar contributes to
obesity and diabetes. Some common-sense alternatives:
Instead of sucking down liquid candy all day long in the
form of soda and fruit juice, drink water. Is there a place for fruit juice? Of
course there is — and it used to be called the breakfast
table. Way back in the day, fruit juice (usually orange or
grapefruit or tomato) was regarded as something of a treat. You’d have a
little four- or six-ounce glass with your coffee and cereal
or eggs. If you were in a restaurant, your juice glass might
even come to the table nested in a bowl of ice. But then the
fruit-packing industry got into the act, first with the
slogan “drink a full big glass” (see illustrations on this
page), and then with “orange juice — it’s not just for
breakfast anymore.” Before you knew it we were chugging OJ like it was water,
24/7. (And of course fruit
mostly water — but it’s sugar water.)
First sippy cups, then “juice boxes” — no wonder kids are hooked on fructose.
• At school:
Drink water. Once upon a time (when I was in elementary
school), when we kids got thirsty, they lined us up at the water
fountain. And in junior high and high school it was . . .
the water fountain.
water.” Since we don’t want the beverage and vending industries to go
out of business.
• Got milk? Have
a glass. There are 18 grams (a little over 4 teaspoons) of sugar
(lactose) in 12 ounces of milk.
• Diet soda!
Certainly better than swigging fruit juice or regular soda pop all day long.
FURTHER READING. Some links of
special interest, as well as special interests.
— Web site of the Juice Products Association, an industry lobbying
Funded in part by Tropicana and Coca-Cola (which owns the Minute
Maid juice brand, among others).
Shocker education resource kit (PDF) from Capital Health, a
Canadian public-sector health organization associated with the
University of Alberta.
Stop the Pop resource kit
(PDF) published by the Missouri Dental Association.
Soft drink nutrition
information published by Coca-Cola (tabular PDF).
— How Soft Drinks Are Harming America’s Health. Center for Science in the Public Interest.
— Highlights of the report. Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Counting Calories in Drinks, Juices and Beverages
— The Diet Bites Web site.
COMING SOON: THE HOJ BLOG, wherein we
chronicle correspondence, fan flames and vice versa.
COPYRIGHT 2006 HOOKEDONJUICE.COM • UPDATED OCTOBER 2, 2006