Fizzy drinks contain far more harmful sugars than the labels say, a new study has today warned.

The drinks, including Coca Cola, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew, contain more fructose than people realise, the research revealed.

They contain as much as 50 per cent more fructose than glucose, researchers say.

The U.S. team behind the study say the human body was not designed to process this combination of sugars.

As a result, they say the drinks can contribute to the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease.

This is because unlike glucose, that is converted into energy, fructose is processed by the liver into fat.

The study, by the Childhood Obesity Research Centre at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, examined the ratio of fructose to glucose in 34 popular brands by analysing their chemical composition.

The research, published online in the journal Nutrition, found that beverages and juices made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) all contain 50 per cent more fructose than glucose.

Dr Michael Goran said the blend called into question claims that sugar and HFCS are essentially the same.

He said: ‘We found what ends up being consumed in these beverages is neither natural sugar nor HFCS, but instead a fructose-intense concoction that could increase one’s risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease.

‘The human body isn’t designed to process this form of sugar at such high levels. Unlike glucose, which serves as fuel for the body, fructose is processed almost entirely in the liver where it is converted to fat.’

The trade body responsible for HFCS manufacturers, the Corn Refiners Association, argued HFCS is only negligibly different than natural sugar, sucrose, which is made up of equal parts of fructose and glucose.

However Dr Goran’s analysis of beverages made with HFCS showed a fructose to glucose ratio of 60:40 – considerably higher than the equal proportions found in sucrose and challenging the industry’s claim that ‘sugar is sugar’.

And he argued labelling was inadequate to warn consumers of the fructose content.

The research team purchased beverages based on product popularity and had them analysed for sugar composition in three different laboratories using three different methods… see more

source: Dailymail UK