This is your brain on sugar -- for real. Scientists have used imaging tests to show for the first time that fructose, a sugar that saturates the American diet, can trigger brain changes that may lead to overeating.
After drinking a fructose beverage, the brain doesn't register the feeling of being full as it does when simple glucose is consumed, researchers found.
It's a small study and does not prove that fructose or its relative, high-fructose corn syrup, can cause obesity, but experts say it adds evidence they may play a role. These sugars often are added to processed foods and beverages, and consumption has risen dramatically since the 1970s along with obesity. A third of U.S. children and teens and more than two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.
All sugars are not equal -- even though they contain the same amount of calories -- because they are metabolized differently in the body.
Table sugar is sucrose, which is half fructose, half glucose. High-fructose corn syrup is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.