AIJN Scientific Symposium report
Sugars and fruit juice are at the centre of one of the most polarising public health discussions of our time. Around the world, consumers are being urged to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables while reducing intakes of socalled free sugars — the term the World Health Organisation (WHO) coined to describe “all mono- and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus the sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices”.
But where does that leave fruit juice? Does this focus on individual foods and nutrients lose sight of the bigger picture of holistic nutrition? And what are the implications for evidence-based public health advice?
Some of the world’s leading experts in diet, metabolism and plant bioactives recently met in Brussels to explain, explore and expand on the latest science around the health effects of fruits and 100% fruit juices. Their presentations and discussions highlight the complexity of the issues, challenge some of the assumptions shaping the debate and suggest the benefits of increasing consumption of 100% fruit juice outweigh any potential risks around sugar.