Frequency of Consumption of Whole Fruit, Not Fruit Juice, Is Associated with Reduced Prevalence of Obesity in Korean Adults



      Fruit consumption is known to be beneficial to health. However, the health benefits of fruit juice are controversial due to its high sugar content.


      To examine the associations of frequency of consumption of whole fruit and fruit juice with obesity and metabolic syndrome.


      This cross-sectional study used data from the 2012-2015 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.


      A total of 10,460 adults (4,082 men and 6,378 women) aged 19 to 64 years were included in the study.

      Main outcome measures

      Frequency of consumption of whole fruit and fruit juice was evaluated using a food frequency questionnaire, and dietary sugar intake was calculated using a 24-hour recall. Obesity and abdominal obesity were determined using body mass index and waist circumference, respectively. Metabolic syndrome was defined on the basis of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III.

      Statistical analyses performed

      Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the associations between frequency of whole fruit or fruit juice consumption and obesity and metabolic syndrome abnormalities.


      The percentage of participants who consumed whole fruit daily was 32.6%, whereas 52.3% consumed fruit juice rarely. The average intake of total sugars was 14.9% of total energy, which was within the recommend range (<20% of total energy) for Koreans. Consuming whole fruit ≥1 time/day was associated with reduced prevalence of obesity, abdominal obesity, and elevated blood pressure compared with consuming whole fruit ≤1 time/wk. However, frequency of fruit juice consumption showed no association with obesity, abdominal obesity, and metabolic syndrome.


      Frequency of whole fruit consumption was associated with reduced prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome abnormalities among Korean adults with average total sugar intake within the recommended range.


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      A. Choi is a master's student, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


      K. Ha is a doctoral student, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


      H. Joung is a professor, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


      Y. Song is an associate professor, Major of Food Science and Nutrition, School of Human Ecology, The Catholic University of Korea, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.

      Linked Article

      • Dietary Assessment Methodology in Response to November 2019 Issue
        Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsVol. 120Issue 6
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          The November 2019 issue of JAND neatly frames the issues surrounding the methods by which researchers measure food intake and dietary patterns. Kirkpatrick and colleagues’ article, “Best Practices for Conducting and Interpreting Studies to Validate Self-Report Dietary Assessment Methods,”1 sets a framework for the remainder of the issue, which includes assessment and associations of specific nutrient and diet patterns in the United States,2 Korea,3 Mexico,4 Brazil,5 and China,6 as well as knowledge translation in Switzerland.
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