Too Much Fruit Juice Linked to Increased Premature Death Risk

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. ideal / aɪˈdil / (adj) – good or perfect for a certain situation or purpose

    Having eight hours of sleep is ideal for adults.

  2. drive / draɪv / (v) – to cause a certain action

    Oily food consumption can drive cholesterol level increase.

  3. resistance / rɪˈzɪs təns / (n) – the ability to fight something

    Drug resistance gives bacteria the ability to fight the effects of antibiotics.

  4. deposit / dɪˈpɒz ɪt / (n) – an amount of something that has been left to build up in a certain area

    Fat deposits in his blood vessels had caused his heart disease.

  5. predominantly / prɪˈdɒm ə nəntli / (adv) – mostly

    I avoid cola because it is predominantly sugar.


Read the text below.

A new study has revealed that regularly consuming fruit juices can increase the risk of early death.

A group of researchers from Emory University and Cornell University teamed up to study the impact of drinking fruit juice on a person’s health. The team gathered data from 13,440 American adults who were part of another study that concluded in 2013. The participants had no record of heart disease, but majority of them were above their ideal weight.

The researchers asked the participants questions about consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices. Around 81% of the participants said that they drink sugar-sweetened drinks like cola, while 94% reported drinking fruit juices. The researchers observed the participants for a span of six years. During this period, over 1,000 had died from various causes, with 168 of them due to heart disease.

Results showed that drinking excessive amounts of fruit juice was related to a 24% increased risk of premature death. The researchers said that drinks rich in sugar drive insulin resistance. Similarly, fruit sugar increases fat deposits around the waist, which could lead to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

In addition, the researchers explained that sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices have very similar content. While fruit juices contain vitamins and other nutrients missing from sugar-sweetened drinks, both beverages are predominantly sugar and water.

However, some experts who reviewed the study said that its results are weak. This is because the study’s data came from self-reports, which may be unreliable. Nonetheless, others said that the study’s findings should still be given importance. They advised people to limit fruit juice consumption and eat pieces of fruit instead.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Following the results of the study, would you discourage people from drinking fruit juices? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, what should fruit juice sellers/manufacturers do after learning about the results of this study (e.g. improving labels, adding warnings)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• How would the results of the study affect your diet? Explain.
• In your opinion, what other beverages or foods that are considered healthy should scientists also study in detail (e.g. tea, salads)? Discuss.