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High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity

You may have heard that the obesity epidemic in America is caused by high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in most sugared drinks and many types of foods. However, the evidence blames any sugar in drinks and not the high fructose corn syrup in particular.

Researchers in the Netherlands showed that beverages sweetened by HFCS do not affect energy levels, appetite-related hormone levels or obesity any more than milk or drinks sweetened with sucrose (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2007). People did not eat more food after drinking HFCS beverages than they did after drinking milk or non-HFCS sodas. They also showed that the obesity hormones (insulin, ghrelin, glucose and glucagon-like peptide 1 or GLP-1) were affected similarly by all types of sweetened drinks.

A sucrose-sweetened beverage contains about 50 per cent glucose and 50 per cent fructose, while the HFCS is 45 per cent glucose and 55 per cent fructose, a not very significant difference. The researchers concluded that "energy balance consequences of HFCS-sweetened soft drinks are not different from those of other iso-energetic drinks: a sucrose soft drink or milk." Currently, many scientists believe that any sugar in drinks promotes obesity because sugar in liquid form does not fill you up to make you eat less in the same way that sugar in solid food does. If you want to lose weight, I recommend that you exercise more and eat less, and avoid sugar in liquid form except while you are exercising.
More on HCFS

Checked 3/2/12

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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