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October 23, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb.Compared to fat and glucose, fructose likely was not a primary contributor to the obesity epidemic in the U.S., according to the results of a recent study published in Nutrition Journal.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln examined the trends in food and nutrient intake from 1970-2009 from data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Results showed fructose consumption had decreased compared to fat and glucose intake, suggesting fructose did not play a large role in the gradual weight gain seen across the American population and leading to the obesity epidemic.
The study concluded that "increased total energy intake, due to increased availability of foods providing glucose (primarily as starch in grains) and fat, to be a significant contributor to increased obesity in the U.S." Specifically, the study showed:
The average consumption of fat increased from 82.2 grams per day in 1970 to 107.9 grams per day in 2009.
The average consumption of glucose rose from 193.4 grams per day in 1970 to 227.8 grams per day in 2009.
Average consumption of fructose was 63.2 grams per day in 1970 and decreased to 62.4 grams per day in 2009. The highest average intake of fructose occurred in 1999 when Americans were consuming an average of 69.5 grams per day.
Despite the decrease in fructose intake, the average total energy intake has risen from 2,137 calories per day in 1970 to 2,530 calories in 2009.
Many factors contribute to the obesity epidemic, such as eating habits (including balance and moderation), exercise and long-term commitment.
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