...German researchers allowed mice to freely drink plain water or fructose-sweetened water (designed to mimic soft drinks) for 10 weeks. Though the fuctose-sipping mice regularly ate fewer calories from solid food, they gained weight and ended up with 27% more body fat than the mice drinking plain water.
"Fructose doesn't need insulin to enter the cells, so it floods the body and is quickly stored as fat," explains lead researcher Hella Jurgens. The sweetener is in a multitude of foods, from frozen pizzas to yogurt, so it's hard to avoid entirely. Jurgens recommends steering clear of it in the form of soft drinks and certain types of fruit juice. "Fructose seems particularly potent in liquids because they're digested so quickly," she says, " and there's nothing healthy about sugary drinks anyway."
Consumer protests quickly got some manufacterers to stop using trans-fats in their products. Perhaps we need to start writing to them about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and express our willingness to pay a few cents more for regular sugar in its place.
The rise in childhood obesity parallels the increase of soda consumption among children. During my childhood sodas were a special treat. Now they are available in schools along with many other unhealthy foods.