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For the first time in 16 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics is changing its stance on fruit juice recommendations.

The academy announced that children younger than 1 year should not drink fruit juice, instead of the previous recommendation of under 6 months.

Fruit juice intake has been found to contribute to the rising rates of obesity and poor dental health, according to the statement. “Parents may perceive fruit juice as healthy, but it is not a good substitute for fresh fruit and just packs in more sugar and calories,” said co-author Melvin B. Heyman, MD, FAAP.

One hundred percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice in moderation can be a healthy part of older children’s diets, but the statement says it is unnecessary for children under 1.

The academy also recommends parents encourage whole fruit as a substitute for fruit juice and avoid offering fruit juice in sippy cups, which make consuming it easier. For children ages 1 to 3, four ounces is recommended; for ages 4 to 6, four to six ounces is recommended; and for ages 7 to 18, eight ounces is recommended.

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