May 9, 2001 -- The nation's largest group of pediatricians is recommending that fruit juice should not be given to babies under 6 months.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests older children's consumption of fruit juice should be limited as well. Diarrhea, cavities, malnourishment and obesity may result from over doing the juice, according to the academy.
ABCNEWS' Tim Johnson said juice lacks the protein kids need and it also contains a lot of sugar. If kids fill up on juice instead of eating nutritious food it can take its toll on their health.
"If they consume it in place of milk and formula and other food containing essential nutrients it could lead to actual malnutrition and in huge excess it can lead to obesity," said Johnson on Good Morning America.
Too Much Juice, Not Enough Calcium and Vitamin D
By drinking too much fruit juice children are not getting enough calcium and Vitamin D, both of which are found in milk. Kids are also missing out on fiber when choosing a glass of juice over a whole piece of fruit.
The academy says juice's high carbohydrate content can cause diarrhea and it offers no nutritional benefit for infants under 6months. After that, it should be given only to children old enough to drink from a cup because putting juice in bottles prolongsexposure of teeth to sugars that can cause cavities, the academy said.
The academy says 100 percent fruit juice can be a healthy part of a child's diet, if it is provided in appropriate amounts.
Children ages 1 to 6 should drink no more than 4 to 6 ounces of juice daily. Those ages 7 through 18 should have no more than two6-ounce servings daily, and all children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits, the academy said.
The updated guidelines appear in the May issue of the academy's medical journal.