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High Fructose Corn Syrup Makes Us Fat. Now We Know.

5/19/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: corn syrup, obesity, study

I grew up in a Midwestern town where high fructose corn syrup is made, so I’ve seen firsthand its environmental impact—and it’s not pretty. If you’ve ever smelled the steam from a corn syrup factory, I guarantee you wouldn’t be eating foods that contain the stuff. Highly processed high fructose corn syrup is a menace in many ways, and now Princeton University researchers have proven what many of us already knew—that it causes abnormal weight gain, contributing to America’s obesity problem.Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback

The Princeton high fructose corn syrup study gives high fructose corn syrup critics the first real batch of evidence they need to link this sweetener to obesity. Rats who consumed high fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than rats who consumed regular table sugar, even though both groups had the same caloric intake. The rats who consumed high fructose corn syrup had increased amounts of triglycerides and fat deposits in their bodies, with much of the fat accumulating around the stomach.

High fructose corn syrup was developed about 40 years ago. Today it’s used in an alarming number of products, from sodas to crackers to condiments. On average, we consume about 60 pounds of this sweetener each year. The good news is, consumer complaints have forced some companies to remove corn syrup from their products. Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback, Gatorade, Hunt’s ketchup and several Kraft salad dressings are switching to regular sugar, even though it costs 40 percent more. Consequently, sales of high fructose corn syrup have fallen 9 percent within the past year and are expected to keep falling.

In 1970, 15 percent of the American population was considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, almost one third of Americans are obese. Coincidence? Probably not. It’s time to get off the high fructose corn syrup.

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Abbey Bend
8/31/2011 11:53:43 AM
Another item always overlooked in these studies is people are too lazy to get off their butts. One of the chief reasons for obesity is lack of movement. Children have no more recess, P.E. or anything that resembles physical activity. No activity is what people are learning and when they go home the most excersice many get is looking for the remote control!! As for the smell of corn syrup being made, go to a slaughter house, work in a cannery. By the reasoning of the author and her first hand experience, no credentials in evidence, there is not much we could or would eat. Ever been around a compost pile or helped slaughter a chicken, maybe a catfish? Once you smelled any of those and used that for a basis to make a decision, you would starve. And before some one goes off about how they are such wonderful smells, I do not like them but use all of them, lucky for me I do not base my decisions on junk science like how much I like or dislike the smell of something. You want bad, be around a paper mill! I still use paper!! There is some possible merit to some concerns about high fructose corn syrup, but this article does nothing to illuminate any of them!!

Jerry N_1
4/19/2011 12:32:27 PM
t. brandt You're spot on about glucose/fructose and meat vs. carbs. It's meaningless, however, to state that "Americans are getting fatter because they're eating more." What's really happening is Americans are eating more because they're getting fatter. That sounds counter-intuitive after the 40 years of nutritional bull-hooey we've been fed, but the fact is that there's been a massive increase in carb consumption in the American diet driven by the USDA/food pyramid/low fat disciples. Carbs are sugar by another name. Carbs increase blood sugar, which triggers an insulin response (to keep you alive); insulin in the blood prevents fat from being burnt as fuel, trapping it in the fat cells. Over time, your muscles stop burning sugar efficiently (insulin resistance), requiring more insulin, forcing more fat storage, etc. So you end up with big, full fat cells but you're starving at the cellular level, so you keep eating. For a very scientific (and well written) background on all of this, folks should read Gary Taube's "Good Calories, Bad Calories." If you prefer an amusing and educational documentary, check out my brother's movie "Fat Head." It's available for free on Hulu and it's also available as an Instant Queue selection if you have Netflix online. Unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of fellow MEN readers will like hearing the truth about grains and vegetable oils, but the real science (vs the mainstream press releases) is compelling. Cheers!

t brandt
2/21/2011 6:21:50 PM
Now here's the real story:[a] Sucrose is half glucose & half fructose. Hi fruc corn syrup is 55% fructose & 45% glucose.[b] Glucose is ever so slightly better at stimulating insulin and leptin secretion (both are screwed up in diabetics.)[c] Insulin makes you fat, but leptin tells you you're full, so you stop eating. Therefore, [d] those eating a diet higher in fructose than sucrose will eat slightly more (hardly measurable). Americans are getting fatter because they're eating more. Food prices are the lowest in history and food is readily available- fast food, micro-wave meals, snacks, etc. The govt and TreeHuggers are telling us to eat less meat when, in fact, we should be eating more meat and less carbs if we want to stay healthy.

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