Fructose and Obesity: A Key Connection Found in Study

According to University of Colorado researchers, fructose could be a major reason why Americans are suffering from obesity. This article examines this claim and the connection between fructose and weight gain.

How Is Fructose Connected To Weight Gain?

Fructose is a natural, simple sugar found in fruits and honey. Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are also found in molasses, ketchup, baked goods, soft drinks, candies, and juices.

According to scientists from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, fructose reduces and blocks the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that supplies energy to your cells. This leads to decreased metabolism, so fewer calories from food are converted into energy.

According to the study, this shift can result in weight gain. It also noted that fructose resets ATP levels in the cells and stops the mitochondria from creating energy to power cells.

What Do The Researchers Say?

Dr. Richard Johnson, lead study author and a leading expert in obesity and diabetes, said fructose triggers our metabolism into low-power mode. He also said his research clarifies the connection between two hypotheses of obesity: One is that too much food leads to obesity, while the second is the carbohydrates-insulin model, which puts carbohydrates at the forefront of weight gain.

Dr. Johnson said these theories are all pieces of a puzzle unified by fructose. While fructose restricts metabolism and results in loss of appetite control, fatty foods become the major source of calories driving weight gain. Johnson said this process is similar to a bear preparing for hibernation, which eats fruit to prepare for the long winter ahead so it can store fat. He also said that the fructose in the fruit keeps their energy levels low, allowing them to store extra calories.

According to Dr. Johnson, this theory sees obesity as a low-energy state and identifying fructose as the channel for redirecting active energy replacement to fat storage shows that fructose drives energy imbalance. He also said his research provides a complete argument for how fructose might be central in driving obesity and diabetes. Dr. Johnson said this can be traced back to our ancestors and lessons from hibernating animals.


A new study shows fructose can be a primary cause of obesity in Americans. You can limit your fructose intake by cutting down on commercially baked goods, sugary drinks, and sweets.