Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Food and Nutrition


Banz, William


Up until the last few decades, fructose was pretty much nonexistent in the human diet. Today it can be found in various processed foods and beverages including soft drinks, juice, and baked goods. These products comprise a large proportion of the human diet these days and consumption is high in children, adolescents, and young adults. Naturally, fructose is found in plant sources such as fruits and sugar cane. Today, high fructose corn syrup is used as a sweetener in many processed foods and drinks such as soda and fruit juices. High fructose corn syrups’ low production cost has increased its’ use in the food production industry. When added together, the consumption of snacks and sweets make up more than 75 percent of intake of added sugars. Fructose is part of the macro nutrient group carbohydrate which are polyhydroxy aldehydes, or ketones, or substances that produce such compounds when hydrolyzed. The category fructose belongs to is the monosaccharide group. Structurally the simplest form of carbohydrate, monosaccharides cannot be reduced in size. However, it can still be utilized as an energy source for the body once it enters the glycolytic pathway. Since the consumption of fructose and high fructose corn syrup has risen, there has been a rise in the incidence of metabolic syndrome risk factors which can lead to the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. Numerous studies with human and animal models have confirmed fructose is associated with the risk factors for the metabolic syndrome. For this paper, various articles pertaining to the increased consumption of fructose and high fructose corn syrup and the risks of the metabolic syndrome were read. These risks include obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL levels, hypertension, and insulin resistance. Even though fructose intake may impact the risk factors, they do not always occur with a consumption of fructose and high fructose corn syrup. Therefore, the main objectives of this research paper was to clarify what are fructose and high fructose corn syrup and also, what is the impact they have on the metabolic syndrome risk factors.