Health experts have been saying for years that fruit juice is too sweet, and should not be drunk as a part of your body's daily fresh fruit and vegetable quota. Now finally, the leading government adviser on obesity has stepped in to say that it should be removed from guidelines altogether.
Susan Jebb, head of diet and obesity research at the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research unit in Cambridge reported The Sunday Times, said that fruit juice contained s much sugar it should be taxed, and "revealed she had stopped drinking orange juice and warned others to dilute it or “wean” themselves off it."
“I would support taking it out of the five-a-day guidance,” she said. “Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has got as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks. It is also absorbed very fast so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly. I have to say it is a relatively easy thing to give up. Swap it and have a piece of real fruit. If you are going to drink it, you should dilute it.”
The Guardian quoted US scientist Barry Popkin, who along with George Bray, exposed the health risks of fructose corn syrup in soft drinks in 2004 as saying fruit smoothies and drinks were the "new danger".
He said: "Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled. Now think of drinking a smoothie with six oranges and two hours later it does not affect how much you eat. The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake, whereas eating an orange does. So pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us but do give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large coke. It is deceiving."
The sentiment is echoed among obesity experts worldwide. The Telegraph reported American obesity expert Robert Lustig as saying that fruit juice is "basically just sugar and is therefore, in his view, a 'poison' because eating an apple, as opposed to drinking the juice, means you also take in fibre which balances out the sugar.
Bee Wilson who wrote the article also commented: "Over the past 30 years consumption of fructose – the sugar in juice – has more than doubled. Juice didn't used to be seen as something with which you quenched your thirst; it was more like a vitamin shot, a tiny dose of goodness."