This Is Why You Can't Stop Eating

High fructose corn syrup is in practically everything we eat these days, and doctors and health nuts have been waxing poetic about its dangers for years. Now, a new study from Yale University School of Medicine may finally prove them the right: fructose is making us fat.

In the study, 20 healthy adult volunteers drank a cherry-flavoured drink that had been sweetened with either fructose or glucose. Scientists then used fMRIs to monitor any changes in the brain's reward and motivation processing as well as the hypothalamus, which plays a role in regulating appetite.

While glucose was found to lower hypothalamic activity, fructose actually lead to a spike, albeit a small one. The two simple sugars may appear molecularly similar, but the body metabolises fructose in way that triggers less insulin production than glucose. Therein lies the rub: it's insulin that tells our body when to put the fork down.

This is still a relatively small study, though, and certainly doesn't provide definitive proof that fructose causes obesity. It does, however, suggest an incredibly strong link. Dr. Jonathan Purnell, an endocrinologist at Oregon Health & Science University, cites a common counterargument that basically boils down to "just don't eat as much." But with our society's growing dependence on high-fructose corn syrup, this seems easier said than done -- and science agrees. [Business Insider]

Picture: Shuttershock/ thumb

WATCH MORE: Science & Health News


    no, your eating too much is making you fat.

    Do you have any idea how little a human is supposed to eat?

    Honestly, I feel that 3 'square' meals a day, is far, far too much food. Start off with a small breakfast around lunch time. then drink nothing but water, then enjoy a nice healthy dinner. I can guarantee that even if you only eat KFC, and drink coke, you'll still loose weight.

    If you've even been a big person, like I used to be, you'll soon lean it is all 100% what you eat, and you size and health can all be controlled by what you are shoveling into your face.

    Moral of the story, put down the dam fork, fatty.

      That is exactly the moral of this article too though: The idea is that the fructose sugars inhibit insulin enough so that you don't feel as satiated and therefore have less incentive to stop eating.
      The effect would be small in single instances, but cumulatively, as the meals added up and your stomach increases in size to accommodate them, it really would contribute to obesity.

      But a study with 20 people is pretty tiny.

      Ummmm no.
      More fat bashing here I see.
      And more rubbish being sprouted by the commenters.
      Please do you research.
      The whole basis of the food industry in America is to try and get you to eat more.
      This is why things such as HFCS is being put into things.
      It bypasses a lot of your bodies natural mechanisms that tell you your full.
      So your body doesn't get the message and you remain hungry and thus eat more. Further lining the companies that run the industry pockets.
      Also you can either eat 3 decent meals or 5 smaller ones throughout the day. Skipping meals is not healthy for you long term and can make losing weight harder as your body starts to turn food into fat because it doesn't know when it will get it's next meal.
      And also yeah you probably can eat KFC etc and lose weight the way you say but that doesn't mean it's doing the rest of your body any good!
      There is a big difference between "losing weight" and "eating healthy".
      Long term you are much better to change base eating habits and eat healthy losing weight slower but keeping it off long term.

      That may work for you. I'd also like to think you are 50kg soaking wet with zero energy throughout the day. I eat up to 6 times a day. Look at my avi. 86kg.
      Everyone is different, but you telling people not to eat is ridiculous.
      I could go on all day about eating habits and exercise. So I'll just /rant here.

      Dude are you serious HFCS is terrible stuff its actually insane that its put into food.
      sure portion size is half the battle but something that your body doesn't know how to process so it turns it into fat, should never ever and for ever never be put into food

    That's mainly an American thing though, so I'm led to believe...? Because of farmer lobby groups in key electorates they're stuck forever with handing out colossal subsidies to corn growers, making products like corn syrup artificially and permanently cheaper than any other type of sugar in the US, which is why it's used in everything there.
    So because of the cheapness and the political issue, that's unlikely to ever change.

    As soon as I read High Fructose Corn Syrup I knew this article was aimed at Americans. Luckily not much or none of Australian food contains this ingredient.

      I thought all the major soft drink suppliers in Australia had also moved from glucose to fructose? (That's why the taste subtly changed about 20 years ago.)

        No Australian bottled soft drink has HFCS in it. It's clearly printed on the ingredients list. Even Pepsi Next is a completely different formulation here compared to the US version.

        Well you thought wrong.

        Last edited 03/01/13 7:30 pm

        no im pretty sure they still use plain old sugar

          Damn. I always though the taste had changed due to a change of recipe.

          OMG! Maybe I have burned out the sugar receptors in my tongue! ;-)

          Good old plain sugar is still about 50% fructose so we are still getting our fair share.

    Sugars in general, no matter the source are pretty much the major cause of a lot of problems. I am certainly guilty of being a sweet tooth to my own detriment and even though we don't have high fructose in a lot of Aussie foods we are still just as saturated with other sugars we don't need. When I say, "I am not addicted to anything" I am always quick to add..."Except sugar"

    Remember people, Australian food products don't have HFCS it uses actual Sugar.

      Sucrose is half fructose.
      Not quite as bad as HFCS, but fructose nonetheless.

    Also, another reason that we can't stop eating is because our bodies, before modern times, used to encounter very little food, and was programmed to get as much food as possible when it was available through a chemical called dopamine, the "feel-good chemical". This has also been speculated (or found, I'm probably uninformed) to drive the human need to reproduce.

    Although there is some merit to this article, people are eating far to much, and that is another major leading cause to weight gain. You can't honestly say it's not. Calories in vs calories out. If you're in a deficit you'll definitely lose weight. It's the way the body works.

    Last edited 03/01/13 11:40 pm

    If you eat organic you'll never have to eat that shit again. I'm not sure if my fellow Americans are aware, but if you eat unhealthy food (which is most food they consume) you'll become overweight and sick in a short time span. Do they ever wonder why they're constantly visiting the doctors?

    Do they also realize the pharmaceutical drugs create more problems than they solve? For every pill has a side affect, thus creating another illness, which makes the consumer take even more pills.

    The cycle is endless.

    You missed the part of the study where they actually surveyed the people on satiety, fullness and hunger - here is the quote from the study (have removed the numbers to make it easier to read, emphasis mine) - "There was NO significant difference between glucose vs fructose ingestion on predrink-postdrink changes in hunger, fullness or satiety".

    Considering that HFCS and sucrose actually contain (almost) equal amounts of glucose and fructose - it is a little hard to extrapolate this study, even if there was differences in the actual physical outcomes. Also consider the serving sizes used, 75g of glucose would require drinking 150g of sucrose or slightly less HFCS (we also don't know if there would be any effect in solid vs liquid food)

    A little early to take anything from a study that really only showed changes in blood flow but NOT in actual measures of hunger, fullness and satiety!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now