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High Fructose Corn Syrup Tied to Global Diabetes Increase?

Call it high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or “corn sugar,” the news is not good for the Corn industry.

A new study published in the latest issue of the journal Global Public Health found that adult type-2 diabetes is 20 percent higher in countries that consume large quantities of HFCS.

This study is going turn up the heat on the already fiery debate between the Corn Refiners Association of America (who claims that HFCS is a natural product that is okay to consume in moderation), and a host of nutritionists, scientists and advocacy groups (who say that corn syrup is “Not Remotely Natural”).

According to the New York Times, the study’s authors reached their conclusion by evaluating existing statistics on body mass index, diabetes rates and global food consumption. But the correlation increased after adjustments were made for country level differences in body mass, population and gross domestic product.

“HFCS appears to pose a serious public health problem on a global scale,” said lead author Michael Goran, PhD, a professor of preventive medicine, at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “The study adds to a growing body of scientific literature that indicates HFCS consumption may result in negative health consequences distinct from and more deleterious than natural sugar.”

The Corn Refiners Association were quick to fire a rebuttal. “This latest article by Dr. Goran is severely flawed, misleading and risks setting off unfounded alarm about a safe and proven food and beverage ingredient,” said Audrae Erickson, president of the association.

Marion Nestle, New York University Professor and author of “Food Politics” also was critical of the study. “I think it’s a stretch to say the study shows high-fructose corn syrup has anything special to do with diabetes,” Dr. Nestle told the New York Times. “Diabetes is a function of development. The more cars, more TVs, more cellphones, more sugar, more meat, more fat, more calories, more obesity, the more diabetes you have.”

In a post on Food Politics, she agreed with Audrae Erickson’s assertions that table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent and advised that the bottom line is everyone would be better off eating less sugar(s).

Considering Americans consume on average more than 600 calories per day from added sugar, equivalent to 40 teaspoons, this is great advice!

Get started now by reading about 3 surprising ways to curb sugar cravings!

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons