Study Absolves Fructose as Factor in Obesity

Originally Published: November 2, 2013
Last Updated: February 25, 2021
Diet. Woman Measuring Body Weight On Weighing Scale Holding Donut and apple. Sweets Are Unhealthy Junk Food. Fast Food.

A study by Carden, TJ and Carr, TP entitled “Food availability of glucose and fat, but not fructose, increased in the U.S. between 1970 and 2009: analysis of the USDA food availability data system” points to increased consumption of glucose and fat, but not fructose, per se, as a factor promoting obesity in the 1970 to 2009 timeframe. The article was published in the Nutrition Journal (Nutr J. 2013 Sep 23;12(1):130.)

In the study’s conclusion, the researchers write that based on USDA loss-adjusted food availability data, the total energy [calories] availability in the US food supply increased 10.7% from 1970 to 2009. The food categories that increased the most during this time were from grains and fats/oils, which increased 24.2% and 25.3%, respectively. In comparison “Caloric sweeteners (including both sucrose and HFCS) increased a modest 1.3%. When expressed in terms of monosaccharides available for metabolic absorption, all carbohydrate food sources provided over three times more glucose than fructose.”

They go on to clarify that total glucose availability [in the U.S. food supply] increased 13.0% from 1970 to 2009, but that fructose availability did not change and said that their findings indicated that fructose per se was not a unique causal factor in promoting obesity during 1970-2009. They concluded that an increase of total calories in the diet, mainly from glucose (primarily as starch in grains) and fat, to be the most important contributors to increased obesity in the U.S.

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