I admit it. I have a sweet tooth. It’s true. Sometimes you just want some gummy bears or a Snickers. It happens.
Luckily, it seems most of these products, while still not found in the health food aisle, are sweetened with sugar rather than High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
I’m not a fan of HFCS, and it seems that a lot of other people are not either. If they were, there would be no TV ads sponsored by this country’s corn lobby touting the similarities of HFCS to regular sugar. Have you seen that ads? They suck. In the PR world, ads are usually judged by effectiveness, and these, I would say, are very ineffective.
They generally show someone serving another person a product – drink, Popsicle, etc. – and the recipient saying, “You know that has high fructose corn syrup, right?” followed by the other person saying, “Yeah… so?” and then the recipient not knowing a thing about it and looking aloof. Because, of course, no one knows about HFCS because the only websites on the whole internet are Facebook, Twitter and porn, right?
So in an attempt to give their sweetener a better reputation, they make it look like anyone who doesn’t want the stuff is stupid while trying to get the FDA’s OK to rename it simply “corn sugar.” And why not rename it “corn sugar” since apparently, they think everyone is stupid anyway?
Yes, the Mayo Clinic is correct when it says, “It’s prudent to consume any added sugar only in moderation.” No arguments there. Many of this country’s health problems seem to stem from people eating too much sugar in whatever form they can. Supersize it! Biggie Size it! Gotta Have It size!
But what about the Princeton University study that gave equal caloric intakes to rats – one group with cane sugar, the other with HFCS? Were the results the same? Well, here is a headline for you:
From that story [emphasis is mine]:
“Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.”
“In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.”
Need more reasons to think twice about HFCS? Here is a blog with some more technical information: “Why is High Fructose Corn Syrup So Bad for You?” (Thanks to my friend Lane for posting a link to that on Facebook.)
Where is HFCS found? The easier question is where is it not found? It is found in just about everything, it seems – soft drinks, bread, ice cream, vitamins, etc.
So while the corn lobby is willing to spend millions of dollars re-branding their sweetener with advertising, I humbly request your patience as I may spend a little more time in the grocery store aisles reading the labels.