All sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain, a new study has shown.
In the study, researchers from Princeton University found that 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.
"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," Hoebel added.
The results of the study have been published online March 18 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour.