A study published March 18th from Princeton University concludes that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the overwhelming sweetener of choice in the U.S. snack food and soda pop industries, causes much more weight gain than table sugar.
A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “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. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
From my own professional soda pop drinking experience, I find that my thirst is quenched much faster with sugar sweetened drinks. I can swill down several HFCS-based 12-ounce soft drink cans, but usually one can of sugar-based pop is my limit. Moreover, I prefer the taste of sugar over HFCS.