Drinking a lot of soda packed with high-fructose corn syrup is, of course, not a healthy choice—but its ill effects aren't so hard to fight. A study's recommendation: Walk more, the New York Times reports. In a study out this month, a researcher had two groups of students take in 75 grams of fructose daily, corresponding to a typical American eating style. At the same time, she called on the students to cut their intake of calories not from fructose, helping them to avoid gaining weight.
Each group spent a week moving twice as much as usual, amounting to about 12,000 steps, or 6 miles, per day. Each group also spent a week moving half as much as they usually would. The low-movement week led to a significant decrease in healthiness, including a huge boost in inflammation indicators and heightened amounts of unwanted lipoproteins. Tests even showed traits associated with the approach of diabetes. But the week of extra activity largely washed away the negative consequences of high fructose consumption. "I don’t want people to consider these results as a license to eat badly," the researcher tells the Times. Instead, her message is: "If you are going to regularly consume fructose, be sure to get up and move around." (Meanwhile, Mark Bittman wants a federal tax on soda.)