Fructose, overeating linked

Brain does not register feeling of being full after fructose consumption

Consumption of fructose can trigger changes in the brain that lead to overeating, new brain-scan research finds.

Researchers at Yale University tracked blood flow through the brains of 20 young, normal-weight individuals before and after consuming beverages that either contained fructose or glucose by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, according to The Associated Press.

The results showed that drinking glucose, which the body metabolizes differently than fructose, “turns off or suppresses the activity of areas of the brain that are critical for reward and desire for food,” said Yale researcher Dr. Robert Sherwin. However, “with fructose, we don’t see those changes. As a result, the desire to eat continues—it isn’t turned off.”

Use of fructose and its relative, high-fructose corn syrup, in processed foods and beverages has increased right alongside obesity since the 1970s—now, a third of children in the United States are overweight or obese.

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