Health Watch — Weight Loss: Fructose

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about losing weight. When you’re dieting, you may look at nutrition labels to see how many calories you’re getting. You may also want to look at the ingredient list. One very common ingredient in processed foods could be helping you gain weight.

Dr. Elizabeth Parks, a nutrition expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the sugar fructose gets turned more rapidly into fat and may even cause foods eaten later to turn into fat instead of being burned. Researchers saw this effect in people who drank fructose solutions. Within four hours, the fructose had been turned into fat, and then the effect continued with the next meal eaten. Fructose is the sugar found in fruit, but the main culprit is the high-fructose corn syrup used as a sweetener in many processed foods and soft drinks. Don’t cut fruit out of your diet. Instead, read ingredient labels and limit the foods you eat that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


August 2008

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.