Sign In
Are you a doctor?

The Case of OJ vs. the Orange; The Jury Trial

Yoshith Perera
Your honor... Today this glass of orange juice or OJ you see before you is on trial for causing several humans to become overweight. Take this boy, Tommy for example. He’s 12 years old and doctors have prescribed more physical exertion to bring his body weight to a healthier level. Tommy would consume about 2 glasses of orange juice every morning. Generally, juices are full of free sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose etc.) which are often added by the manufacturer to enhance flavor. According to a Press Release dated 4th March 2015, the World Health Organization outlined a guideline recommending adults and children to reduce their daily intake of free sugar to less than 10% of their total energy intake.

Consider Tommy’s breakfast table...On one end is an orange and on the other is a glass of orange juice.
Constituents OJ/Orange Juice (100ml) The Orange (Fruit diameter: 8 inches)
Calories 47 62
Sugar 8.81 grams 12.25 grams
Dietary Fibre 0.2 grams 3.1 grams
% of Recommended Daily Intake 4% 3%

The Orange is roughly 8 inches in diameter, a proportionate fruit carrying 62 calories, 3.1g of fiber and 12.25g of sugar [1]. The glass holds 100ml of Orange juice carrying 8.81g of sugar, 0.2g of dietary fiber and 47 calories [2]. Now the brand of the juice has a direct impact on the exact caloric constituents. Given the above stated values, one could assume that after consuming one orange you are more likely to feel fuller. On the other hand after one 100ml glass of orange juice, you are more likely to seek out the fridge for a second serving.

So it’s like that at breakfast Tommy could have just one orange which makes up for 3% of his Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) [1]. Or he could have about two 100ml glasses of orange juice which accumulates to 4% of his RDI [2]. It is important to note that we are still referring to his breakfast table and that additional juice may be consumed at lunch and dinner. However the juice is more accessible and easy to consume. The orange on the other hand requires peeling and additional preparation. orange juice The director of the World Health Organization’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development had this to say about free sugars...

“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay.” [3]

As human beings we have a tendency to assume that “more” is always better. This is not always the case. Too much of anything is not great for your body. In fact your mantra should be “everything in moderation”. Take sugar for example, too much of sugar in your diet can increase your risk of becoming overweight. This in turn may result in chain reactions that could lead to Type II Diabetes, Atherosclerotic heart disease or a predilection for cancerous outcomes. The orange in its natural state harbors additional constituents such as fiber etc that aid your digestive system’s motility while facilitating a gradual absorption of sugar.

This case is a bit murky, that I am aware of. The choice remains among individuals like Tommy who may go for the healthier fruit option or go for the more accessible glass of OJ. Statistics even show that with increasing age, the consumption of sweetened drinks increases among children and young adults [3]. Given this trend and all this information, the question remains... Is there enough evidence to find this glass of OJ guilty?
Yoshith Perera November 30, 2015

Sign up to leave comment
All Articles
Myth vs Facts
Health and Wellness
Contribute to VisitDoctor.ca
Readers' Picks
Medical Tests New Immigrants to Canada Should Be Aware Of
Haadi Hafeez
Moving to a new country can be a long and arduous ordeal; application processes, background checks, and medical tests...
Natural VS Conventional Medication
Haadi Hafeez
In an ideal world people would live long lives, never having to deal with illness or disease. We would eat naturally...
Canadian View on Physician-Assisted Death
Vivian L.
Today's Canadians want control over all aspects of their own lives, including the choice of whether to live or die....
Physics Meets Medicine
Zahra Abdi
I once saw a post that distinguished the complex fields of biology and physics, with a simple (and slightly comical)...
Studies in Shut-Eye: How Much Sleep is Enough
Terese Mason Pierre
How much sleep do you really need? And why do some people sleep less than others? Can you get just a few hours of sleep...
The Case of OJ vs. the Orange; The Jury Trial
Yoshith Perera
Your honor... Today this glass of orange juice or OJ you see before you is on trial for causing several humans to...