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Keywords:

  • Childhood obesity;
  • fructose;
  • fructose malabsorption;
  • multicentre study

Summary

Background

Studies in animals and in man have demonstrated that excessive consumption of fructose can cause all components of the metabolic syndrome.

Objective

To investigate the impact of a condition resulting in decreased absorption of fructose, on obesity.

Methods

In a multicentre study, we analyzed a cohort of paediatric patients with suspected primary fructose malabsorption (FM). Patients with chronic intestinal diseases were excluded. The final cohort comprised 628 patients.

Results

302 patients were diagnosed with primary FM (48.1%). The proportion of obese patients was lower among FM patients, compared to non-FM patients (2.3 vs. 6.1%, P = 0.029). Logistic regression analysis with inclusion of various covariates showed that FM was negatively associated with obesity (OR 0.35, 95% CI [0.13; 0.97]). We discuss several mechanisms involving the metabolic, endocrine and gastrointestinal system.

Conclusions

Our data indicate that primary FM is negatively associated with childhood obesity.