For Immediate Release


Phone: 202-332-9110

Is Soda Higher in Fructose Than Previously Thought?

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

WASHINGTON - If the findings of new laboratory analysis of popular soft drinks can be replicated, the soda industry will have a lot of explaining to do. The study, fittingly published in the journal Obesity, claims that up to 65 percent of the sugars in Coca-Cola and Pepsi are fructose. That’s surprising, because the soda industry has always claimed that the high-fructose corn syrup used in soda is only 55 percent fructose—a percentage much closer to that of table sugar, or sucrose, which is 50 percent fructose.

Because the new analyses seem so improbable, confirmatory studies using the best analytical method need to be done before the alarm bells ring too loudly.

Most scientists haven’t been willing to say that high-fructose corn syrup is some kind of nutritional boogeyman that is much worse than ordinary sugar because both are roughly half fructose and half glucose. If Coke and Pepsi actually contained much higher levels of fructose, that would make those and other HFCS-sweetened drinks even more harmful than previously thought since fructose appears to be especially conducive to weight gain.

But no one should think that they’d be doing themselves a huge favor by switching to soft drinks made with sugar. Regardless of the percentage of fructose to glucose, the main problem with sugars is that they are an empty source of calories. Even worse, consumed in liquid form, those calories don’t provide the same kind of satiety solid foods do. As a result, all sugary soft drinks promote weight gain, obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and other serious health problems.


We know things are bad. We know it's worth the fight.

You are part of a strong and vibrant community of thinkers and doers who believe another world is possible. Alone we are weak. Together we can make a difference. At Common Dreams, we don't look away from the world—we are not afraid—our mission is to document those doing wrong and galvanize those doing good. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. We have now launched our annual Summer Campaign. Can you pitch in today?

Since 1971, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science.

Share This Article

More in: