Results published in the journal Pediatrics showed that apples are the most common fruit consumed among young people aged 2 to 19 years. The study also found that nearly 90 percent of total fruit intake came from whole fruits and 100 percent from fruit juices.
To describe what fruits US youth are consuming and what social-demographic factors may influence these consumption, scientists analyzed data from 3,129 kids and teens between 2 and 19 years old from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The findings showed that apples, apple juice, citrus juice and bananas counted for half of total consumption. Apples were responsible for 18,9% of fruit intake (the greatest proportion) although there were differences in age. Among 6 to 11 years-olds consumed more apple than children between 2 and 5 years old.
There were also differences by race in intake of citrus fruits, berries, melons, dried fruit, and citrus juices and other fruit juices. While Hispanic and Asian descenders got more than 50 percent of their fruit intake from whole fruits, black children got about 43 percent of their intake from the organic fruit presentation.
Eva Almiron-Roig, a Dietary Assessment Research Scientist at MRC Human Nutrition Research in Cambridge, U.K., who was not part of the new study, told Reuters that the reason why children choose apple among other fruits is because they are easy to pack and palatable. Apples’ texture and the thickness may also play a role.
“Young children may find it difficult to chew a whole hard fruit, or eat it with the skin,” Almiron-Roig reportedly said. “There is also the issue about… whether soda may squeeze out fruit juice consumption in older children or children from specific ethnic backgrounds.”
There are also several health benefits that come with the consumption of apple. In the first place, apples are filled with 5 grams of fiber, which reduces intestinal disorders and helps control insulin levels.
Eating apples also helps to reduce cholesterol levels, lowers the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma, reduces skin diseases, and strengthens the heart.
Moreover, it is good for loosing weight, since it has only 50-80 calories, with no fat or sodium. In fact, a Brazilian study showed that eating an apple before a meal helped women lose 33 percent more weight than those who did not.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also said that a diet based on fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of suffering from diabetes, strokes and cancer. Although kids’ whole fruit consumption increased by 67 percent between 2003 and 2010, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, only 40% of young people between 1 and 18 years old consume at least two cups of fruit daily, which is the recommended daily intake.