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© 2018 The Obesity Society Objective: Multiple factors contribute to the rising rates of obesity and to difficulties in weight reduction that exist in the worldwide population. Caloric intake via sugar-sweetened beverages may be influential. This study tested the hypothesis that liquid sucrose intake promotes obesity by increasing serum insulin levels and tissue lipid accumulation. Methods: C57BL/6J mice were given 30% sucrose in liquid form. Changes in weight gain, body composition, energy expenditure (EE), and tissue lipid content were measured. Results: Mice drinking sucrose gained more total body mass (TBM), had greater fat mass, and displayed impaired glucose tolerance relative to control mice. These metabolic changes occurred without alterations in circulating insulin levels and despite increases in whole body EE. Lipid accrued in liver, but not skeletal muscle, of sucrose-consuming mice. Oxygen consumption (VO2) correlated with fat-free mass and moderately with TBM, but not with fat mass. ANCOVA for treatment effects on EE, with TBM, VO2, lean body mass, and fat-free mass taken as potential covariates for EE, revealed VO2 as the most significant correlation. Conclusions: Weight gain induced by intake of liquid sucrose in mice is associated with lipid accrual in liver, but not skeletal muscle, and occurs without an increase in circulating insulin.

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