People who consume fructose instead of sugar derived from cane or other natural sources feel less satisfied by their food and tend to consume more, according to research published Wednesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Compared with individuals who consumed sugar-based glucose beverages, people who drank liquids containing fructose exhibited a weaker connection between the hypothalamus, thalamus and striatum, brain scans taken by researchers revealed.
Stacked next to brain scans of individuals who consumed glucose, the results showed a clear divergence in areas of the brain regulating appetite and reward processing.
Though the study is small — only 20 volunteers underwent scans — it is the first scientific literature to directly link fructose consumption to obesity-causing behaviors.
Similar research published in November found that use of high fructose corn syrup correlates to significantly higher rates of type 2 diabetes.
More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, placing themselves at a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and some types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control.