Is Fructose Making People Fat?

Simple sugar found in high-fructose corn syrup and elsewhere is tied to appetite changes in study.

In this photo from Sept. 15, 2011, high fructose corn syrup is listed as an ingredient on a can of soda in Philadelphia. Scientists have used imaging tests to show for the first time that fructose, a sugar that saturates the American diet, can trigger brain changes that may lead to overeating.
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Still, a growing body of evidence is pointing toward the hypothalamic brain region as having a role in obesity. "Things as subtle as a change in sweetener can have an impact on how full somebody feels, and could lead to an increase in calorie intake and an increasing pattern in obesity seen in this country," he said.

So what to do? As a nutritionist, Sharon Zarabi, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, tells her patients to read food labels. "Avoid having fructose or glucose listed as one of as the first three ingredients, and make sure that sugar is less than 10 grams per serving."

More information

The American Heart Association has more about sugar.

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