Amy J. Bidwell
Obesity contributes to metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and glucose intolerance, all of which are risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. The growing prevelance of metabolic syndrome seems to be an end result of our current lifestyle which promotes high caloric, high-fat foods and minimal physical activity, resulting in a state of positive energy balance. Increased adiposity and physical inactivity may represent the beginning of the appearance of these risk factors. Understanding the metabolic and cardiovascular disturbances associated with diet and exercise habits is a crucial step towards reducing the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Although considerable research has been conducted linking chronic fructose ingestion to the increased prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome risk factors, these studies have mainly been performed on animals, and/or in a post-absorptive state. Further, the magnitude of the effect of fructose may depend on other aspects of the diet, including the total amount of carbohydrates and fats in the diet and the overall consumption of meals. Therefore, the overall aim of this review paper is to examine the effects of a diet high in fructose on postprandial lipidemia, inflammatory markers and glucose tolerance, all risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, an objective is to investigate whether increased physical activity can alter such effects.