Media Statement

21 February 2014

Australian school kids and fruit juice – call for debate in ACT

The Australian fruit juice industry has called for rational debate on the role of fruit juice in the diets of Aussie school kids.

Fruit Juice Australia (FJA), Australia’s peak body which represents 95% of the fruit juice sector in Australia, says the most current scientific evidence finds no link between obesity and fruit juice intake.

The FJA says there is also strong evidence to suggest that children who consume fruit juice have better overall diet quality.

The FJA will seek a meeting with ACT’s Chief Minister Katy Gallagher to discuss the consumption of juice as part of a healthy diet, following of the announcement today by the Government to ban the sale of fruit juice in vending machines at Canberra public schools by the end of school term.

“This is a disappointing and simplistic approach that does not consider the real issue which is about ensuring a balance between physical activity and what a child is consuming in the context of their entire diet,” FJA Chief Executive Geoff Parker said.

“Consuming too much of any food or beverage will be problematic in the development of obesity. It’s all about moderation and portion control and that all kilojoules count.

“A small glass of 100% juice can count as one of the two fruit serves per day for kids and delivers almost all the same vitamin and minerals as a piece of fruit.

“The FJA literature review (Fruit Juice & Diet Quality) released last year also shows children who consume fruit juice as part of their diet have significantly higher intakes of four essential nutrients: folate, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium and higher intakes of fibre.

“In fact, without juice, many kids don’t get their recommended serve of fruit each day.

More than 50% of children up to 13 and almost 99% of Australian teenagers up to 16 fail to reach the recommended requirements of fruit intake,” Mr Parker said.

Contact

Geoff Parker, Fruit Juice Australia

Mobile: +61 407 646 195 

Angela Jackson, The POP Agency

Mobile:+61 407 213 522

Alyce Cowan, The Pop Agency

Mobile: 0417 724 037