Fructose Not Linked to Weight Gain

A new study on fructose and weight loss has shown that “fructose does not seem to cause weight gain when it is substituted for other carbohydrates in diets providing similar calories.”

Since fructose is metabolized differently than glucose, some have wondered if fructose may play a role in the obesity epidemic.  The study by Sievenpiper et al published in Annals of Internal Medicine aimed to determine the role of fructose in weight gain.

Researchers identified 31 studies that compared how free fructose and non-fructose carbohydrates affected body weight in diets that provided similar amounts of calories as well as 10 studies that examined body weight in people whose diets were supplemented with free fructose to provide more calories than their usual diet.   They extracted the data from those studies and then combined and analyzed them.

Researchers found that when fructose was swapped for another carbohydrate, it did not appear to cause weight gain.  High doses of fructose seemed to cause a modest increase in body weight, but, according to the researchers, the weight gain may have been due to the extra calories, not the fructose itself.

The study was limited in that it pulled data from a variety of studies with differing study designs, and that the participants in most studies were only followed for a few months.

Click here to read the study abstract (//www.annals.org/content/156/4/291.abstract)