Excessive abdominal adiposity is associated with health risks in children and adults. Higher consumption of fruit juice and other sources of fructose has been shown to promote weight gain and specifically visceral adiposity in adulthood.
We aimed to examine the longitudinal associations of fruit juice intake in infancy with visceral adiposity in mid-childhood and early adolescence.
We analyzed data from 783 participants in Project Viva, a US prebirth cohort. Our exposure was fruit juice intake at 1 y old. We measured visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT), and total abdominal adipose tissue (TAAT) in mid-childhood (mean age 7.8 ± 0.7 y) and early adolescence (13 ± 0.8 y) using DXA. We examined longitudinal associations of fruit juice intake at 1 y with VAT, SAAT, and TAAT area sex-specific standard deviation scores (SDSs) in mid-childhood and early adolescence using linear mixed models. We adjusted for child age at outcome, sex, race/ethnicity, age and BMI z-score at 1 y-questionnaire, maternal prepregnancy BMI, level of education, and prenatal sugar-sweetened beverage intake, paternal BMI, and median household income at birth.
After adjusting for child and parental covariates, each serving (120 mL) per day of fruit juice intake at 1 y was associated with persistently greater VAT area SDS (β = 0.08; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.13) at both timepoints in boys and girls. The association of fruit juice intake with VAT appeared stronger than that with SAAT (β = 0.05; 95% CI: 0.00, 0.09) and TAAT (β = 0.05; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.10).
Higher fruit juice intake in infancy was associated with greater abdominal adiposity, particularly VAT, in mid-childhood and early adolescence. Our findings support limiting fruit juice intake in infancy, which can have later impact on visceral adiposity in childhood and adolescence.Clinical Trial Registry number: NCT02820402 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02820402).