It's an undisputed fact the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, what you and your children are eating in the morning may not have the health benefits we all assumed.
An Austrian study has shown that children are 50% more likely to be obese if they have orange or apple juice for breakfast.
Researchers suggested at European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, that parents should replace juice with a piece of fruit.
They questioned 652 13-year-olds about their diets, finding that those who drank fruit juice more than three times a week were 50% more likely to be overweight than those who didn't. Participants that drank water with the first meal of the day saw their obesity risk fall by 40%.
Conversely, British Dietetic Association (BDA) spokesperson and paediatric dietician Aisling Pigott, stated that the results shouldn't put parents off buying fruit juice completely.
“We are keen to promote the benefits of fruit juice because it does have vitamins and minerals, and if the bits haven’t been removed there’s more fibre in there,” Pigott told The Huffington Post. “But what we do know is that it’s very easy to drink large volumes of fruit juice, which provides no additional benefits to a very small amount.”
She continued to recommend that instead of cutting out juice altogether, that parents water it down. For young children, it should be one part juice to four parts water and for older children the recommended amount concentration should not exceed 50/50 juice to water.
When it comes to quantities, one 100ml serving of juice per day is what Pigott suggests- think the equivalent of a small plastic party cup. To avoid damage to teeth this should only be one serving a day, and counts as one of their five a day.
However, whether juice is served with breakfast or not doesn't appear to make much of a difference.
“We’ve had lots of studies and interest about the time of day for drinks, but every body responds differently, so we don’t worry about what time you’re having things, it’s just about not going overboard,” Pigott advises.