Children's Fruit "Juice" Drinks and FDA Regulations: Opportunities to Increase Transparency and Support Public Health

Jennifer L. Pomeranz, Jennifer L. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. To compare children's drink products that contain or purport to contain juice and evaluate labels in light of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.Methods. In 2019, we analyzed federal law for drinks that contain or purport to contain juice by using LexisNexis and FDA's Web site, identified top-selling children's "juice" drinks in fruit punch flavors, gathered labels in store and online, and extracted data from the principal display and information panels.Results. FDA regulations permit a wide range of names, claims, and fruit vignettes on drinks that contain or purport to contain juice, reflecting the product's flavor and not necessarily its ingredients. We identified 39 brands of children's drinks, including 100% juice (n = 7), diluted juices (n = 11), juice drinks (n = 8), fruit-flavored drinks (n = 8), and flavored waters (n = 5), with nonuniform statements of identity; vitamin C and low-sugar claims; and fruit vignettes representing 19 fruits. Many products contained added sugar and nonnutritive sweeteners but little to no juice.Conclusions. Principal display panels rendered it difficult to differentiate among product types, identify those with added sweeteners, and distinguish healthier products. Revised labeling regulations are warranted to support public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-880
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume110
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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