Health Updates

High Fruit Juice Intake In Children Appears To Have Higher Abdominal Adiposity or Abdominal Fat

A study shows that children with high fruit juice intake appears to have higher abdominal adiposity, particularly visceral adipose-tissue or VAT, in mid-childhood and early adolescence.

High Fruit Juice Intake In Children Appears To Have Higher Abdominal Adiposity or Abdominal Fat
Photo: Children Drinking Fruit Juice | InStyleHealth

What Is Abdominal Adipose Tissue?

Abdominal adipose tissue also known as body fat, or simply fat is a loose connective tissue that is composed mostly of adipocytes.

Aside from adipocytes, adipose tissue contains the stromal vascular fraction of cells including preadipocytes, fibroblasts, vascular endothelial cells and a variety of immune cells such as adipose tissue macrophages.

The adipose tissue is generated from preadipocytes. The primary role of adipose tissue storing energy in the form of lipids, while it also protects and insulates the body. Formation of adipose tissue is being controlled in part by the adipose gene.

Besides being hormonally inactive, the adipose tissue has been recognized as a major endocrine organ, as it generates hormones such as cytokines, estrogen, leptin, and resistin.

There are two types of adipose tissue – white adipose tissue or WAT, this type of adipose tissue stores energy, and brown adipose tissue or BAT, this type of adipose tissue generates body heat.

What Causes Subcutaneous Fat?

Every person is born with subcutaneous fat, considering from genetics, individuals typically have greater amounts of subcutaneous fat if they:

  • Are insulin resistant
  • Are living in sedentary lifestyle
  • Get little or no aerobic activity
  • Have diabetes T1D or T2D
  • Have high consumption of calories (e.g., sweets, chocolates, fruit juices)
  • Have little muscle mass

How To Get Rid of Subcutaneous Fat?

To get rid of subcutaneous fat, there are two highly recommended methods for shedding or reducing excess subcutaneous fat and these are:

Proper Diet and Nutrition

In order to help reduce or start shedding subcutaneous fat is through proper diet and nutrition.

For children, they have to limit caloric consumption as having higher intake of calories, increases the risk of fat development especially around the abdominal area.

A variety of dietary changes that can help improve the types of food and drink one can consume. American College of Cardiology as well as the American Heart Association has highly recommended a healthful diet that is rich in fiber, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and nuts.

One should minimize consumption in sugary products, salt, red meats, and saturated fats. Eat those foods that contain lean proteins such as soy, fish, or poultry products.

Physical activity

A way for the body to storing energy is by building up subcutaneous fat. In order to reduce or get rid of the buildup of the subcutaneous fat, one must burn energy or the calories.

Highly recommended way to burn calories is through aerobic activity and should include walking, running, cycling, swimming, and other movement-oriented activities that elevates the heart rate.

A lot of people who are increasing their activities wanting to lose subcutaneous fats are also participating in strength trainings like weight liftings. This kind of activity helps increase lean muscle that can boost metabolism and further help burn more calories.


According to researchers that excessive abdominal adiposity is associated with health risks in children and adults. The higher consumption of fruit juice and other sources of fructose has been shown to promote weight gain and specifically visceral adiposity in adulthood.

Researchers obtained and analyzed data from 783 participants in Project Viva, a US prebirth cohort, with fruit juice consumption at age 1 year as the exposure. Researchers utilized dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry to assess the visceral adipose-tissue, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, and total abdominal adipose tissue in mid-childhood and early adolescence.

The longitudinal correlations of fruit juice consumption at 1 year with visceral adipose tissue, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, and total abdominal adipose tissue area gender-specific standard deviation score or SDSs in mid-childhood and early adolescence were evaluated utilizing the linear mixed models.

Researchers made some adjustments for child age at outcome, gender, race/ethnicity, age, and body mass index or BMI z-score at 1-year questionnaire, maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, level of education, and prenatal sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, paternal BMI, and median household income at birth.

Following the adjustment for child and parental covariate, each serving of 120 mL per day of fruit juice at 1 year resulted in persistently greater visceral adipose tissue area SDS at both time points in boys and girls. Correlation of fruit juice consumption with visceral adipose tissue appeared stronger than that with subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, and total abdominal adipose tissue.

Researchers stated that the findings support limiting fruit juice consumption in infancy, which can have later impact on the visceral adiposity in childhood and adolescence.


Source: Am J Clin Nutr 2021;114:117-123

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