Tuesday, February 27, 2007

High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity

Here's an interesting article on corn syrup and obesity, excerpted with permission from the new book SUGAR SHOCK! I hope you enjoy it.Mollie McCarl

As High-Fructose Corn Syrup Takes Off, Obesity SoarsConnie Bennett, C.H.H.C., Author, SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books)

SUGAR SHOCK!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life—and How You Can Get It Back on Track by Connie Bennett, with Dr. Stephen Sinatra

In the 1970s and 1980s, most major American food manufacturers began replacing sugar (sucrose, made from sugarcane or beets) with such corn-based sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). High-fructose corn syrup now is found in an astonishing array of processed goods, including soft drinks and fruit juices, as well as condiments, breads, cookies, breakfast cereals, pasta sauces, frozen foods, jams, and jellies. Food manufacturers made the switch from cane- and beet-based sugar to corn-based HFCS because it’s far cheaper to produce than sucrose. Not only that, but high-fructose corn syrup is sweeter, is easier to handle during processing, has a longer shelf life, and keeps baked goods soft while giving them a warm toasty color. Interestingly, as the use of high-fructose corn syrup has soared, America’s obesity problem has also spiraled out of control. In fact, journalist Greg Critser, author of the intriguing Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, observes that the lower-priced HFCS has allowed food producers to increase portion sizes without sacrificing profits. Ultimately, he notes, overconsumption of HFCS is “skewing the national metabolism toward fat storage.” Now, a growing body of research and articles support that statement. Indeed, one examination of our sweetener consumption patterns, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that in a mere 20 years (from 1970 to 1990), consumption of high-fructose corn syrup leaped by more than 1,000 percent, “far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group.” This review of medical literature on the subject, headed up by the internationally renowned obesity and diabetes authority George Bray, M.D., Boyd professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System and professor of medicine at LSU Medical Center, concluded that the "increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity.”
SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books) includes more fascinating information that links corn-based fructose with obesity and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The book -- which also dishes other sour news about sweets -- offers helpful tips and tactics to help people to break free of their sugar addiction. You can buy SUGAR SHOCK! here. Check out Connie's provocative http://www.sugarshockblog.com/, too.