The deadly risk that sets in before high school graduation

Yesterday I told you how the American Academy of Pediatrics is finally alerting parents to the damage fruit juice can do. As I said in that Reality Health Check, the statement is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

While it’s great that they’re firm on saying that babies under age one shouldn’t have juice, they should have extended that recommendation throughout childhood. (And adulthood too, but that’s not really their purview.)

Instead, they said that kids ages seven to 18 should limit their fruit juice intake to eight ounces a day. Even though fruit juice is nothing but sugar. And even though we know that sugar is the major culprit behind weight gain (and, in turn, childhood obesity).

Now a new study shows just how serious — and lasting — the risks of teenage weight gain are. According to the study, which followed nearly 38,000 Swedish men for decades, those who had a big jump in BMI during their teenage years were at higher risk of stroke as adults.

In fact, every two-point increase in BMI made them 20 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.

Think about that next time you feel bad telling your kids or grandkids that they can have water instead of juice or soda. Is the momentary pleasure really worth a lifetime of health risks?

I sure don’t think so.