Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rats eating high-fructose corn syrup get obese.

This is actually a bit old and covered by many others in a more timely manner. The title says it all. Research on rats at Princeton University indicates that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) get fatter than rats fed equivalent calories of other sweeteners. HFCS is the sweetener of choice in North America and is in many different foods, including many you don't think of. One that surprised me was mayonnaise.
This is probably the punchline of the article for lawyers:

"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," [emphasis mine]

We still drink too much soda, its not the fault of companies that sell it that we are all fat. (I use the term soda because it is what many Americans, the fattest nation on earth, call pop). I don't have access to the full article at this time and don't understand how it was established that the HFCS consumption was excessive.

In case you think that the pictures in the article of test tubes full of orange soda are strange, as I did initially, let me point you to the relevant quote in one picture caption:

"The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas, including the orange soft drink shown here."

Rats don't prefer orange crush over Coca-Cola, that is a ridiculous notion. The picture was taken by someone who watches CSI and likes science eye candy and really, it's the people that matter anyways.


Anonymous Coward said...

Well there is science eye candy in that picture allright!

Anonymous said...

You mean the gentleman with the lab book?

xenobiologista said...

One thing I'm not clear about from reading the article - in the first study they mention, were the rats fed ad lib? Were the HFCS rats getting fatter despite eating the same amount of chow, or was drinking HFCS somehow encouraging them to eat more chow than the sucrose group?

Timothy Burley said...

Soda doesn't only have an effect on our bodies. My dentist in St. Petersburg told me that it's our teeth that's primarily affected by the excessive drinking of sugary beverages. Well, it's pretty obvious why, right? So moderating your soda drinking habit is like hitting two birds with one stone. I hope everybody gets that.