Calorie for Calorie, Fructose Packs On More Pounds

My two boys recently brought home their elementary-school class pictures, and my wife and I decided it would be fun to show them our class photos back when we were their age. One thing we all noticed right away was how many more overweight or obese kids there are in our sons’ class photos than in our old pictures from the early ’80s, when we were kids. Something has changed in a big way, no pun intended. More inactivity and poor diets are likely to blame. People are eating more calories than ever before, but they are also changing the source of their calories. More kids today are eating highly processed foods and drinks instead of fresh fruits, vegetables and prepared foods. Does the source of the calories matter? I used to think not. I used to think that what we are eating is fine but that we just need to eat less of it. However, I’ve proved myself wrong.

As you no doubt have realized, fructose consumption has increased astronomically in recent years, because it is the dominant sugar added to processed foods and drinks, mostly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Fructose is what is in fruit, but when you eat a piece of fruit, you are full. When you drink a big-gulp soda, you take in not only huge numbers of calories but huge amounts of fructose, way more than you could ever eat in fruit. We already know that the excess calories are bad when we are trying to lose weight, but what about the large amount of fructose?

We recently conducted a simple experiment in which two groups of mice were fed identical diets except for the type of sugar added. —> Read More