Claims that there is a link between fructose and obesity are based on unproven hypotheses and statistical correlation, not scientific data. There is no evidence to support a unique role for fructose in the global epidemic of obesity. In fact, data has shown that Americans‟ intake of calories from sugar has stayed the same or gone down in the past decade, while the intake of calories from fat has gone up (USDA, 2012; White, 2013).
Numerous studies and systematic reviews have found that consumption of fructose does not lead to overweight and obesity (Rippe, 2013; Sievenpiper, 2012; Carden & Carr, 2013; Dolan, 2010; Rizkalla, 2010). A review by Rippe (2013) found that randomized controlled trials, the gold standard for scientific studies, do not support a causal link between weight change and fructose consumption.
Another systematic review by Sievenpiper et al. (2012) found that fructose did not cause weight gain when it substituted for other carbohydrates in the diet. The authors concluded that it was likely not the excess fructose intake that lead to weight gain, but rather the intake of excess calories (Sievenpiper et al., 2012). Likewise, a review by Carden & Carr (2013) assessed intake data from the US Department of Agriculture‟s (USDA) food availability data system and found that excess energy intake was likely a significant contributor to the increase in obesity rates in the US. Further, the authors noted that consumption of fructose has decreased over the past decade while the rate of obesity has continued to increase, suggesting other factors are responsible for the obesity epidemic (Carden & Carr, 2013). A systematic review by Dolan et al. (2010) found no evidence to suggest that fructose ingestion leads to significant changes in body weight. This held true for those consuming fructose at levels up to the 95th percentile estimates of intake (Dolan et al., 2010). Similarly, a systematic review by Rizkalla (2010) found that moderate to high consumption of fructose (50-≤100g/day) did not influence body weight.