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Study: Corn syrup - even at lower levels - more damaging than sugar
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Health

Study: Corn syrup - even at lower levels - more damaging than sugar

Rats gained more weight on high-fructose corn syrup than double the amount of sugar

  • A Princeton University research team, including undergrad Elyse Powell (from left), psychology professor Bart Hoebel, visiting research associate Nicole Avena and graduate student Miriam Bocarsly, has demonstrated high-fructose corn syrup causes significantly more weight gain than regular sugar, even at half the levels.
    Denise Applewhite/ Princeton University, Office of Communications,A Princeton University research team, including undergrad Elyse Powell (from left), psychology professor Bart Hoebel, visiting research associate Nicole Avena and graduate student Miriam Bocarsly, has demonstrated high-fructose corn syrup causes significantly more weight gain than regular sugar, even at half the levels.

High-fructose corn syrup results in more weight gain than regular sugar, even at much lower levels, according to a new study by Princeton University.

"When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese – every single one, across the board," said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction.

In one experiment, researchers found that rats given high-fructose corn syrup gained much more weight than those given regular table sugar, or sucrose, Princeton University reports. This despite the fact that the sucrose levels were the same as those found in most soft drinks, while the high-fructose levels were half that.

A second experiment found that rats on a corn-syrup-laden rat-chow diet gained 48 percent more weight than those without corn syrup.

"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic," said visiting research associate Nicole Avena, who was affiliated with Rockefeller University during the study and is now on the faculty at the University of Florida.

High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.

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