Can't give up that soda? It might not be all bad, if you make something else a habit in your life

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Just can't give up that soda? Health officials say you can continue drinking your soda, but there's something else you need to make a habit of.

The New York Times reports people who consume the sweetener fructose - used to sweeten many processed foods and nearly all soft drinks risk developing a variety of health problems. But the risk drops substantially if you get up and move around -- even if it's not formal exercise.

The New York Times says the problem with fructose is that it's metabolized primarily by the liver. Much of it is transformed into fatty acids -- some of them remaining in the liver. That can contribute to fatty liver disease.

The rest of the fatty acids go into your bloodstream. That's what leads to metabolic havoc.

A researcher at Syracuse University has discovered a link between movement, and how the body utilizes fuels -- including fructose.

The New York Times says this Syracuse researcher gathered 22 individuals who agreed to drink soda for an experiment. These volunteers drank two sodas a day. Half of them began taking at least 12,000 steps a day, and half moved about half as much as they had previously. Then, the groups switched.

The New York Times reports the study found that walking at least 12,000 steps a day effectively wiped out all of the negative changes brought about by the increased consumption of fructose via the soda.

“I don’t want people to consider these results as a license to eat badly. If you are going to regularly consume fructose be sure to get up and move around," Amy Bidwell, the researcher who led this study said.

It is important to note: According to the New York Times, most of the people who took part in this study didn't alter their normal exercise routines at all. In fact, most of them didn't formally exercise during the study -- instead doing things like taking the stairs and parking further away from the door.

CLICK HERE for more on this story via the New York Times.