Pediatric Weight Management



Dennison BA, Rockwell HL, Nichols MJ, Jenkins P. Children’s growth parameters vary by type of fruit juice consumption. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 1999; 18: 346-352.

PubMed ID: 12038478
Study Design:
Cross-Sectional Study
D - Click here for explanation of classification scheme.
Quality Rating:
Positive POSITIVE: See Quality Criteria Checklist below.
Research Purpose:
To evaluate, in a sample of healthy young children, whether the associations between fruit juice intakes and growth parameters differ by the type of fruit juice consumed.
Inclusion Criteria:
A total of 223 children, two through five years of age, who were scheduled for a nonacute visit and their parent or primary caretaker were recruited from a general primary care practice.
Exclusion Criteria:
Children with significant medical conditions that affect growth or dietary intake were excluded (one with diabetes mellitus and one with chronic renal failure).
Description of Study Protocol:
  • A 24-hour dietary recall for the child was collected from the child’s parent or primary caretaker at the initial visit. The child’s parent or parents or primary caretaker was given detailed instructions by a research nutritionist on how to complete a written, consecutive, seven-day dietary record for their child.
  • To improve estimation of portion size, parents were given measuring cups and spoons, rulers and a "Kids Food Portion Booklet." They were also given a postage-paid, pre-addressed envelope to return the written seven-day dietary record.
  • If necessary, the primary caretakers were called twice to remind them to mail in the written dietary record.

Statistical Analyses

  • Multiple Linear Regression
  • Chi-square
  • Wilcoxon (to evaluate whether the associations between fruit juice intakes and growth parameters differ by the type of fruit juice consumed).
Data Collection Summary:


  • Measure of adiposity: BMI and Ponderal Index (measured height and weight); height (measure); lipid profile (blood sample).


  • Dietary intake: Type of fruit juice (apple juice, orange juice, grape juice and other or mixed fruit juice); seven-day dietary records recorded by parent or primary caretaker and seven-day 24-hour diet recall; demographic data (questionnaire); parent height and weight (self-reported questionnaire).


  • Child age
  • Gender
  • Energy intake (excluding fruit juice)
  • Maternal height.
Description of Actual Data Sample:
  • Sample: 223 healthy preschool-aged children
  • Age: two to five years old (116 two-year-old children and 107 five-year-old children)
  • SES: Predominately white and low to middle class.
  • Duration: Two years
  • Location: Primary care setting, upstate New York.
Summary of Results:


  • The association between fruit juice intakes and obesity were observed with apple juice intakes only.
  • Apple juice intake was correlated with child body mass index (P<0.05) and ponderal index (P<0.005) after adjustment for the above covariates.
Author Conclusion:
High intakes of fruit juice appear to be associated with growth extremes in young children. It would seem prudent for parents and caretakers to moderate the fruit juice intakes of their young children.
Funding Source:
Reviewer Comments:
Quality Criteria Checklist: Primary Research
Relevance Questions
  1. Would implementing the studied intervention or procedure (if found successful) result in improved outcomes for the patients/clients/population group? (Not Applicable for some epidemiological studies) N/A
  2. Did the authors study an outcome (dependent variable) or topic that the patients/clients/population group would care about? Yes
  3. Is the focus of the intervention or procedure (independent variable) or topic of study a common issue of concern to dieteticspractice? Yes
  4. Is the intervention or procedure feasible? (NA for some epidemiological studies) N/A
Validity Questions
1. Was the research question clearly stated? Yes
  1.1. Was (were) the specific intervention(s) or procedure(s) [independent variable(s)] identified? Yes
  1.2. Was (were) the outcome(s) [dependent variable(s)] clearly indicated? Yes
  1.3. Were the target population and setting specified? Yes
2. Was the selection of study subjects/patients free from bias? Yes
  2.1. Were inclusion/exclusion criteria specified (e.g., risk, point in disease progression, diagnostic or prognosis criteria), and with sufficient detail and without omitting criteria critical to the study? Yes
  2.2. Were criteria applied equally to all study groups? No
  2.3. Were health, demographics, and other characteristics of subjects described? Yes
  2.4. Were the subjects/patients a representative sample of the relevant population? Yes
3. Were study groups comparable? N/A
  3.1. Was the method of assigning subjects/patients to groups described and unbiased? (Method of randomization identified if RCT) N/A
  3.2. Were distribution of disease status, prognostic factors, and other factors (e.g., demographics) similar across study groups at baseline? N/A
  3.3. Were concurrent controls or comparisons used? (Concurrent preferred over historical control or comparison groups.) N/A
  3.4. If cohort study or cross-sectional study, were groups comparable on important confounding factors and/or were preexisting differences accounted for by using appropriate adjustments in statistical analysis? N/A
  3.5. If case control study, were potential confounding factors comparable for cases and controls? (If case series or trial with subjects serving as own control, this criterion is not applicable.) N/A
  3.6. If diagnostic test, was there an independent blind comparison with an appropriate reference standard (e.g., "gold standard")? N/A
4. Was method of handling withdrawals described? Yes
  4.1. Were follow-up methods described and the same for all groups? N/A
  4.2. Was the number, characteristics of withdrawals (i.e., dropouts, lost to follow up, attrition rate) and/or response rate (cross-sectional studies) described for each group? (Follow up goal for a strong study is 80%.) N/A
  4.3. Were all enrolled subjects/patients (in the original sample) accounted for? N/A
  4.4. Were reasons for withdrawals similar across groups? N/A
  4.5. If diagnostic test, was decision to perform reference test not dependent on results of test under study? N/A
5. Was blinding used to prevent introduction of bias? No
  5.1. In intervention study, were subjects, clinicians/practitioners, and investigators blinded to treatment group, as appropriate? N/A
  5.2. Were data collectors blinded for outcomes assessment? (If outcome is measured using an objective test, such as a lab value, this criterion is assumed to be met.) N/A
  5.3. In cohort study or cross-sectional study, were measurements of outcomes and risk factors blinded? N/A
  5.4. In case control study, was case definition explicit and case ascertainment not influenced by exposure status? N/A
  5.5. In diagnostic study, were test results blinded to patient history and other test results? N/A
6. Were intervention/therapeutic regimens/exposure factor or procedure and any comparison(s) described in detail? Were interveningfactors described? Yes
  6.1. In RCT or other intervention trial, were protocols described for all regimens studied? N/A
  6.2. In observational study, were interventions, study settings, and clinicians/provider described? N/A
  6.3. Was the intensity and duration of the intervention or exposure factor sufficient to produce a meaningful effect? N/A
  6.4. Was the amount of exposure and, if relevant, subject/patient compliance measured? N/A
  6.5. Were co-interventions (e.g., ancillary treatments, other therapies) described? N/A
  6.6. Were extra or unplanned treatments described? N/A
  6.7. Was the information for 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 assessed the same way for all groups? N/A
  6.8. In diagnostic study, were details of test administration and replication sufficient? N/A
7. Were outcomes clearly defined and the measurements valid and reliable? Yes
  7.1. Were primary and secondary endpoints described and relevant to the question? Yes
  7.2. Were nutrition measures appropriate to question and outcomes of concern? Yes
  7.3. Was the period of follow-up long enough for important outcome(s) to occur? N/A
  7.4. Were the observations and measurements based on standard, valid, and reliable data collection instruments/tests/procedures? Yes
  7.5. Was the measurement of effect at an appropriate level of precision? Yes
  7.6. Were other factors accounted for (measured) that could affect outcomes? No
  7.7. Were the measurements conducted consistently across groups? Yes
8. Was the statistical analysis appropriate for the study design and type of outcome indicators? Yes
  8.1. Were statistical analyses adequately described and the results reported appropriately? Yes
  8.2. Were correct statistical tests used and assumptions of test not violated? Yes
  8.3. Were statistics reported with levels of significance and/or confidence intervals? Yes
  8.4. Was "intent to treat" analysis of outcomes done (and as appropriate, was there an analysis of outcomes for those maximally exposed or a dose-response analysis)? N/A
  8.5. Were adequate adjustments made for effects of confounding factors that might have affected the outcomes (e.g., multivariate analyses)? Yes
  8.6. Was clinical significance as well as statistical significance reported? Yes
  8.7. If negative findings, was a power calculation reported to address type 2 error? N/A
9. Are conclusions supported by results with biases and limitations taken into consideration? Yes
  9.1. Is there a discussion of findings? Yes
  9.2. Are biases and study limitations identified and discussed? Yes
10. Is bias due to study's funding or sponsorship unlikely? Yes
  10.1. Were sources of funding and investigators' affiliations described? Yes
  10.2. Was the study free from apparent conflict of interest? Yes