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100% Orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy, decreased risk for obesity, and improved biomarkers of health in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2006

Carol E O’Neil1*, Theresa A Nicklas2, Gail C Rampersaud3 and Victor L Fulgoni III4

Author affiliations

1 Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 261 Knapp Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803, USA

2 USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, 77030, USA

3 Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA

4 Nutrition Impact, LLC, Battle Creek, Michigan, 49014, USA

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:107  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-107

Published: 12 December 2012



Consumption of 100% orange juice (OJ) has been positively associated with nutrient adequacy and diet quality, with no increased risk of overweight/obesity in children; however, no one has examined these factors in adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of 100% OJ consumption with nutrient adequacy, diet quality, and risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a nationally representative sample of adults.


Data from adults 19+ years of age (n = 8,861) participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006 were used. The National Cancer Institute method was used to estimate the usual intake (UI) of 100% OJ consumption, selected nutrients, and food groups. Percentages of the population below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) or above the Adequate Intake (AI) were determined. Diet quality was measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005). Covariate adjusted logistic regression was used to determine if consumers had a lower odds ratio of being overweight or obese or having risk factors of MetS or MetS.


Usual per capita intake of 100% OJ was 50.3 ml/d. Among consumers (n = 2,310; 23.8%), UI was 210.0 ml/d. Compared to non-consumers, consumers had a higher (p < 0.05) percentage (% ± SE) of the population meeting the EAR for vitamin A (39.7 ± 2.5 vs 54.0 ± 1.2), vitamin C (0.0 ± 0.0 vs 59.0 ± 1.4), folate (5.8 ± 0.7 vs 15.1 ± 0.9), and magnesium (51.6 ± 1.6 vs 63.7 ± 1.2). Consumers were also more likely to be above the AI for potassium (4.1 ± 0.8 vs 1.8 ± 0.2). HEI-2005 was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in consumers (55.0 ± 0.4 vs 49.7 ± 0.3). Consumers also had higher intakes of total fruit, fruit juice, whole fruit, and whole grain. Consumers had a lower (p < 0.05) mean body mass index (27.6 ± 0.2 vs 28.5 ± 0.1), total cholesterol levels (197.6 ± 1.2 vs 200.8 ± 0.75 mg/dL), and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (112.5 ± 1.4 vs 116.7 ± 0.93 mg/dL). Finally, compared to non-consumers of 100% OJ, consumers were 21% less likely to be obese and male consumers were 36% less likely to have MetS.


The results suggest that moderate consumption of 100% OJ should be encouraged to help individuals meet the USDA daily recommendation for fruit intake and as a component of a healthy diet.

Orange juice consumption; 100% fruit juice consumption; Diet quality; Nutrients; Nutrient adequacy; Adults; Weight; Obesity; Metabolic syndrome; NHANES