Extra Calories and not Fructose Responsible for the Obesity Epidemic
Consumption of fructose has been accused as the main culprit behind obesity for a long time now. People trying to lose weight have been advised to stay away from food containing fructose. But this has not always translated into weight loss. A study was undertaken recently, by the researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital, to review the effects of fructose on the body weight.
The research, findings of which have been published in the latest issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, has concluded that it is the extra calories consumed that result in weight gain. These calories can be from any component of the food and not necessarily fructose. Therefore, just cutting fructose from the diet would not result in weight loss. Rather, one should watch the total number of calories consumed.
The researchers, led by Dr. John Sievenpiper, analyzed the results of more than forty previously published studies in order to study the effect of fructose on weight gain. In 31 studies, the participants had been divided into two groups. While the first group consumed calories obtained only from fructose, the other group ate only non-fructose food. However, the number of calories consumed was the same by both the groups. Therefore, the studies were termed as isocaloric. The researchers noticed that the participants who consumed only fructose did not gain more weight than the non-fructose group.
During the analysis of ten other hypercaloric studies, while half of the participants consumed their usual diet, the other half consumed extra calories in the form of pure fructose apart from their usual diet. It was seen that the participants who consumed extra calories gained more weight. On the basis of the analysis, the researchers have opined that every calorie is the same, whether it is obtained from fructose or any other component of food.