Predictors ID'd for Early Introduction of Juice Into Infant Diet

Earlier juice introduction associated with higher childhood intake of sugary beverages

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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Markers of lower socioeconomic status may predict early juice introduction in infancy, which is then associated with a pattern of sugary beverage consumption later in childhood, according to a study published in the November issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Sonia L. Robinson, Ph.D., from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the Upstate KIDS prospective birth cohort study to identify predictors of age at juice introduction and to assess whether early introduction of juice establishes a pattern of sugary beverage intake in childhood. The analysis included 4,989 children followed through age 7 years.

The researchers found that 25 percent of mothers introduced juice prior to 6 months and 74 percent introduced juice before 12 months. Earlier juice introduction was associated with younger maternal age; Black or Hispanic race/ethnicity; lower educational attainment; participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; smoking during pregnancy; a higher prepregnancy body mass index; a lower household income; and living in a townhouse/condominium or mobile home. There was an association observed between earlier juice introduction and higher childhood juice intake (adjusted relative risk, 1.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 1.7; P-trend < 0.0001), any soda intake (adjusted odds ratio, 1.6; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 2.4; P-trend = 0.01), and lower water intake (adjusted relative risk, 0.9; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.8 to 0.9; P-trend < 0.0001), when adjusting for total beverage intake.

"Markers of lower socioeconomic status are strongly associated with earlier juice introduction, which, in turn, relates to sugary beverage intake in childhood, potentially replacing water," the authors write.

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