Weighing the Facts on Concord Grape Juice

Study revealed that daily, moderate consumption of Concord grape juice did not impact weight.

CONCORD, Mass., June 1, 2010 - A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that drinking 100% Concord grape juice did not lead to significant changes in appetite, energy intake or body weight.1

Weighty Matter

The health benefits offered by fruits are sometimes overlooked when they are consumed in the form of a juice. Evidence suggests that for most children and adults, drinking moderate amounts of 100% fruit juice is not associated with overweight.2-5 However, some have remained concerned that juice may impact weight gain, mainly because compared to whole fruit, juice can be consumed with less effort and thus could provide more calories with less satiety (sense of fullness).6

100% Concord Grape Juice and Body Weight

In a study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Director of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center and Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University, Dr. Richard Mattes and his team showed that drinking 100% Concord grape juice did not lead to significant changes in appetite or to increased energy intake; in fact, it was associated with reduced waist circumference.1

This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was composed of 76 overweight men and women who were divided into three groups and studied for 12 weeks. The intervention group drank eight ounces of 100% Concord grape juice twice daily, the placebo group drank a grape-flavored drink and the final group was a non-treatment control group. Unlike the Concord grape juice drinkers, those in the placebo group felt less full, experienced moderate yet significant weight gain, and did not experience a significant decrease in waist circumference.

While it is too early to draw any conclusions on Concord grape juice and body weight, this work builds on other research that has shown that daily, moderate consumption of Concord grape juice does not significantly impact weight.7-10

Expert Opinion

This study showed that those who drank 100% Concord grape juice compensated for its calories by taking in fewer calories from other foods and drinks throughout the day and thus avoided a positive calorie balance and significant weight gain. According to Dr. Mattes, "These results are in sharp contrast to other published evidence suggesting little or no compensation for energy-containing beverages." With that said, Dr. Mattes added, "Energy compensation may not fully explain why the Concord grape juice group exhibited a significant decline in waist circumference and no significant weight gain, while the placebo group did gain a significant amount of weight. The differences in weight may be attributable to the beneficial effects of grape polyphenols on thermogenesis or fat oxidation."

References:
  1. Hollis JH, Houchins JA, Blumberg JB and Mattes RD. Effects of concord grape juice on appetite, diet, body weight, lipid profile, and antioxidant status of adults. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009. 28(5):574-582. 
  2. O’Neil CE. A Review of the Relationship Between 100% Fruit Juice Consumption and Weight in Children and Adolescents.  American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2008. 2(4):315-354.
  3. Nicklas TA, O'Neil CE, Kleinman R. Association between 100% juice consumption and nutrient intake and weight of children aged 2 to 11 years. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008.162(6):557-565. 
  4. O'Neil CE, Nicklas TA and Kleinman R. Relationship between 100% juice consumption and nutrient intake and weight of adolescents. Am J Health Promot. 2010. 24(4):231-237. 
  5. Fulgoni VL and Pereira MA. Consumption of 100% Fruit Juice and Risk of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004.  Presented at Experimental Biology, 2009. New Orleans, LA. 
  6. Mourao DM, Bressan J, Campbell WW, Mattes RD: Effects of food form on appetite and energy intake in lean and obese young adults. Int J Obes (Lond) 31:1688–1695, 2007. 
  7. Krikorian R, Nash TA, Shidler MD, Shukitt-Hale B and Joseph JA. Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Br J Nutr. 2010. 103(5):730-734. 
  8. Park YK, Kim JS and Kang MH. Concord grape juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in Korean hypertensive men: double-blind, placebo controlled intervention trial. Biofactors. 2004. 22(1-4):145-147.
  9. Dohadwala MM, Hamburg NM, Holbrook M, Kim BH, Duess M-A, Levit A and Titas M. Effects of Concord grape juice on ambulatory blood pressure in prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr, Am J Clin Nutr. 2010. 92(5):1052-1059. 
  10. Mark D and Maki K. Concord grape juice reduces blood pressure in mean with high systolic blood pressure. Presented at Experimental Biology. San Diego CA. April 11-15, 2003.