Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science




Nutrition and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Kathleen Melanson


Objective: The primary objective of this study was to determine if caloric intake of fructose sugars (free fructose plus sucrose) predicts body fat percentage in young adults. The secondary objective was to determine if caloric intake of fructose sugars predicts total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

Participants and Methods: Men (n=55, body fat=16.3 ± 14.0%) and women (n=281, body fat=26.9 ± 7.5%), 18 to 24 years of age, were recruited for an ongoing, cross-sectional study, The Nutrition Assessment Study. Anthropometric, biochemical and dietary data were collected. Linear modeling was used to assess predictions of body fat percentage and blood lipids with sugars intake, and multiple regressions were used to control for possible covariates.

Results: In a linear model, a 1% increase in caloric intake of fructose sugars predicted a 0.56% higher body fat in men (β=0.311, R2=0.097, p=0.037). This prediction remained significant when adjusting for BMI and alcohol intake (β=0.260, R2=0.505, p=0.036). In women, no predictions were seen with caloric intake of fructose sugars and body fat. Fructose sugars did not predict TC or LDL-C in this sample.

Conclusion: In this population of healthy young adults, higher consumption of fructose sugars is associated with higher body fat in men but not in women. Longitudinal research is needed to determine if these predictions are observed over time.