Juices, smoothies too pose a health risk: Experts

Dispelling the notion that fruit juices and smoothies may not be harmful for health; two U.S. scientists have warned that the high quantum of sugar present in these drinks may have adverse consequences on the human body.

These two scientists; Barry Popkin and George Bray had highlighted the presence of high fructose corn syrup in carbonated drinks like Coke and Pepsi about a decade ago. They argued that this constituent is largely responsible for the growing incidence of obesity especially in developed countries.

New Danger
“Smoothies and fruit juice are the new danger,” Popkin, a distinguished professor at the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, was quoted as saying in the Guardian.

“It’s kind of the next step in the evolution of the battle. And it’s a really big part of it because in every country they’ve been replacing soft drinks with fruit juice and smoothies as the new healthy beverage. So you will find that Coke and Pepsi have bought dozens [of fruit juice companies] around the globe,” noted Popkin.

World over, the beverage manufacturing behemoths are aggressively promoting juices and smoothies. Pepsi has an ambitious target for its Tropicana brand of juices. It intends to take the nation to ‘five a day’ fruit and vegetable target.

Food Intake Remains Same
The renowned scientist Popkin averred that while such drinks are the easiest way to augment daily fruit intake as “each 250ml portion contains the equivalent of 2 fruit portions”, he suggested that people should opt for vegetable juice rather that fruit juice.

Pointing out to the fact that ingestion of smoothies does not reduce the food intake, Popkin said, “The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake.”

All said the average consumer is in a state of dilemma. People try and change their habits by shifting from
carbonated drinks
to fruit juices in hope of improving their health. However, the latter too have a lot of sugar content which is purportedly equally harmful.