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Juice: Still Bad

Photo via Getty Images.
Photo via Getty Images.

I’m very sorry to report that, no matter how many times you ask, or how many times Silicon Valley/wealthy pseudoscience-loving health enthusiasts insist otherwise, juice is not a health food. It is sugar water.


This is not new information—in fact, it seems like this gets reported roughly every three months—and yet the misperception that juice is not merely sweet and delicious but also a boon for your body apparently persists. This time it’s the Washington Post with the reminder, in a column by a trio of medical experts:

The truth is that fruit juice, even if it is freshly pressed, 100 percent juice, is little more than sugar water. Yet many Americans believe that juice is good for them. In one survey of parents of young children, 1 in 3 believed that juice was at least as healthy as fruit. We are inundated with the message that juice is healthy. Juice bars abound in gyms, spas and health food stores, while government programs supply large quantities of juice to low-income children and pregnant mothers. The commercial juice industry is happy to take advantage of this idea, as with POM Wonderful’s tagline “Drink to your health” or Juicy Juice’s labels extolling the (mostly added) 120 percent of recommended daily vitamin C in the products.


The simple fact is, they say, “The product takes healthy fruits and vegetables and makes them much less healthy.”

So: still bad. Still not health food. Still best used for its divinely ordained purpose, which would be summery cocktails.

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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I am STILL having this argument with my mother because my 20 month old still doesn’t drink juice. My mother believes lack of juice is why she gets sick. She thinks the kid doesn’t get enough Vitamin C. And I try explaining to her that she gets that from eating an actual orange or kiwi or strawberry or any number of other foods that she eats, plus she gets the fiber, which is lacking in juice. And also brushing her teeth is a challenge that should be featured in some sort of game show where you win a prize and I worry about cavities enough without also soaking her teeth in sugar water on a regular basis.