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Fresh Take on Fructose vs. Glucose

Study Shows More Insulin Resistance With Fructose-Sweetened Beverages

Study on High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is Under Way

Havel acknowledges that the study does little to answer the question of whether the body processes high-fructose corn syrup differently from table sugar or other sweeteners.

His research team is in the early stages of a study that will address the issue. The investigation will compare the metabolic effects of fructose, glucose, table sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup in normal-weight and obese men and women.

Cardiologist James Rippe, MD, who is a consultant for the Corn Refiners Association, says there is no credible scientific evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is a bigger cause of obesity or chronic disease than any of the other sugars used in processed foods.

He points out that while high-fructose corn syrup is used almost exclusively to sweeten soft drinks in the U.S., this is not true in many other parts of the world.

Rippe is a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida.

"Obesity and diabetes are on the rise in places where they don't use high-fructose corn syrup, such as Mexico, Europe, and Australia, just like in the United States," he says.

Tschop says whether the sweetener is high-fructose corn syrup or something else, it is clear that Americans are eating too much sugar.

"The largest sources for daily overconsumption of sugar are soft drinks and other sweetened beverages," he says.

A non-diet 12-ounce soft drink typically contains nine or 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is close to the daily limit set for sugar consumption by many health organizations.

"Some people drink a 2-liter (67-ounce) bottle of soda a day or even more," he says. "If you do that for many years there is no doubt that it will impact your health, no matter what type of sugar is used."

But Rippe says targeting one type of sugar or even one food as the main culprit in the rise in obesity and obesity-related disease misses the point.

"We are eating too much of everything, not just sugar," he says. "Over the last three decades, the average American has increased their calorie consumption by 24% and physical activity has declined. People are singling out sugar as the one smoking gun in the obesity epidemic when there are guns everywhere."

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