How many teaspoons of sugar are in a Coke?

Topics: Vitamins and Supplements

Michael Waldholz of the Wall Street Journal reports on the Science Magazine special primer on obesity: the weight loss solution may be biochemical for some and behavioral for others.

He offers what more scientists are coming to—why

    high fructose corn syrup

is metabolized differently than sucrose or table sugar. HFCS is what’s in many sodas—the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of table sugar in a 20 ounce Coke (or Pepsi)

Here are some sugar facts he collected:
*Annual per capita consumption of sweeteners increased by 28 pounds, or 22%, from 1970 to 1995
*U.S. sweetener consumption increased to 22 million tons in 1999, from 14.2 million in 1980
*High fructose corn syrup consumption quadrupled to 9.2 million tons from 1980 to 1999

Waldholz is right—pediatric obesity is fueled with the kerosene of liquid candy.

“With so many calories coming from sugar , American kids are fighting an uphill battle each day against fat accumulation. No wonder the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer group, has named soda, aka “liquid candy,” public-health enemy No. 1.

On top of it, some researchers say repeated exposures to high-fructose corn syrup may be especially dangerous. In a speech to the International Congress on Obesity last summer, George Bray, a recognized expert on weight gain, said high fructose corn syrup is a “ticking bomb” in our diet because it is more readily converted into fat than other sugars . Unlike other sugars , fructose doesn’t trigger the release of insulin, which controls sugar consumption by telling the brain to send out a feeling of fullness.”