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Many students experience weight gain during their first year of college, which has been attributed to environmental changes, including eating habits and activity patterns. A new study implicates the endogenous metabolite and sugar substitute, erythritol, as a novel physiological marker predictive of vulnerability to increased adiposity.Refers to Hootman, K. C. et al. Erythritol is a pentose-phosphate pathway metabolite and associated with adiposity gain in young adults. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA114, E4233-E4240 (2017).