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Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose

Bray, George A

doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3283346ca2
Nutrition and metabolism: Edited by Paul Nestel and Ronald P. Mensink

Purpose of review The purpose of the review is to suggest that fructose, a component of both sucrose (common sugar) and high fructose corn syrup, should be of concern to both healthcare providers and the public.

Recent findings Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased steadily over the past century and with this increase has come more and more reports associating their use with the risk of overweight, diabetes and cardiometabolic disease. In a meta-analysis of the relationship between soft drink consumption and cardiometabolic risk, there was a 24% overall increased risk comparing the top and bottom quantiles of consumption. Several factors might account for this increased risk, including increased carbohydrate load and increased amounts of dietary fructose. Fructose acutely increases thermogenesis, triglycerides and lipogenesis as well as blood pressure, but has a smaller effect on leptin and insulin release than comparable amounts of glucose. In controlled feeding studies, changes in body weight, fat storage and triglycerides are observed as well as an increase in inflammatory markers.

Summary The present review concludes on the basis of the data assembled here that in the amounts currently consumed, fructose is hazardous to the cardiometabolic health of many children, adolescents and adults.

Pennington Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Correspondence to George A. Bray, MD, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA Tel: +1 225 763 3176; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.