Just the facts. From the experts.

The Skinny

An abundance of confusion has complicated the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) since it was introduced as an industrial sweetener - a substitute for sugar - in the 1960s. Some of the controversy derives from the dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. (and in the rest of the world). The simultaneous occurrence of these two events is striking and it is tempting to relate one to the other.

Despite its name, HFCS is the equivalent of table sugar, nutritionally, chemically and functionally. It does not have significantly high fructose content if you compare it to sucrose, which is what it replaces in so many of the foods we eat. There are no differences in comparing sugar and HFCS in their impact on appetite or on levels of blood sugar, insulin or on a variety of metabolic measurements or hunger signaling hormones.

The realization that obesity is increasing with equivalent rapidity in many parts of the world in which HFCS is not commercially available further undermines the argument that HFCS is a cause of obesity.

HFCS lowers the cost of sweetening foods and producing certain kinds of foods and beverages. With lower costs we have increased consumption. HFCS is not the culprit, no more than sugar, but it is an innocent participant in the complex process of manufacturing and selling food.

There is no dispute that weight management mandates decreasing the consumption of high calorie foods. Nevertheless, there is no metabolic, nutritional or chemical reason to assign unique responsibility to HFCS. For weight management, it's every bit as bad as sugar, but not worse.

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True? Or Not? "High Fructose Corn Syrup is a major cause of obesity in the United States."

Arthur Frank SAYS...


There is no metabolic, nutritional or chemical reason to assign unique responsibility to HFCS.