Apple juice can pose a risk to your health. But not necessarily from trace amounts of arsenic that people have argued about, according to nutritionists quoted by the Associated Press.

Nutrition experts say apple juice’s real danger is to waistlines and children’s teeth.

Apple juice has few natural nutrients, lots of calories and in some cases, more sugar, than soda has.

It trains a child to like very sweet things, displaces better beverages and foods, and adds to the obesity problem, its critics say.

“It’s like sugar water,” said Judith Stern, a nutrition professor at the University of California, Davis, who has consulted for candy makers as well as for Weight Watchers. “I won’t let my 3-year-old grandson drink apple juice.”

Many juices are fortified with vitamins, so they’re not just empty calories. But that doesn’t appease some nutritionists.“If it wasn’t healthy in the first place, adding vitamins doesn’t make it into a health food,” and if it causes weight gain, it’s not a healthy choice, said Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian in New York and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says juice can be part of a healthy diet, but its policy is blunt: “Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for infants younger than 6 months” and no benefits over whole fruit for older kids.

Kids under 12 consume 28 percent of all juice and juice drinks, according to the academy.

Nationwide, apple juice is second only to orange juice in popularity.

Americans slurp 267 ounces of apple juice on average each year, according to the Food Institute’s Almanac of Juice Products and the Juice Products Association, a trade group.

Lots more is consumed as an ingredient in juice drinks and various foods.

Only 17 percent of the apple juice sold in the U.S. is produced here. The rest comes from other countries, mostly China, Argentina, Chile and Brazil,