Study: rats fed HFCS gain significantly more weight than those fed higher concentrations of sucrose

Not sure where to put this, as I’m not asking for a debate.

So says a recent Princeton University study. I thought this may be of some relevance, as threads on obesity here naturally devolve into a debate over the fattening affects of HFCS. It now seems that the Princeton study, the first of its kind, seems to have confirmed that in fact HFCS is a large contributor to the current obesity epidemic:

For those who know about biology than I do, and who may be able to provide a critique of the study’s findings, the original paper is here.

I am curious what “significantly more” would be in numbers, but I can’t read the tiny numbers in the free version graphs.

Significant in this case means reacing statistical significance. They set an alpha level of .05, meaning that rats in the HFCS condition averaged weight gain at least 3 standard deviations beyond the mean.

I recently saw this interesting lecture about sugar:

The guy in that video says that HFCS is bad, but it’s not any worse than table sugar. Sucrose breaks down into glucose and fructose, and apparently the percentage of fructose in HFCS isn’t much higher than in table sugar. He says they’re equally bad, but that HFCS is a bigger problem because they’re putting it into everything theses days. This rat study would seem to contradict that.

Reading the paper, the results are a little confusing. They use different parameters among some of their groups , so it’s a lot harder to determine whether the results are meaningful.

They don’t see consistent results across all groups; in the short-term male experiments, the 24 hour HFCS group actually weighs less than the sucrose group, but there’s weight gain in the 12 hour group. Their hypothesis for this is that food-restriction promotes binge-eating, but their long-term female 12 hour group doesn’t show a significant increase- only the female 24 hour group does. Their justification of not using sucrose in the male long-term experiment is also lame.

It’s potentially interesting, but their mish-mash of groups and some inconsistencies in the results keep it from being as convincing as it could be, I think.