April 6th, 2011
By: T.M. Hartle
A new study from Princeton University found that significant weight gain occurred by merely adding high fructose corn syrup to the diet. Subjects in the test group gained 48% more weight than those who were not given any high fructose corn syrup. Companies with financial ties to the industry have fought back against current scientific research with a very effective, yet deceptive, advertising campaign. Despite industry ad campaigns, research continues to show high fructose corn syrup to be a health damaging substance.
The latest ad campaigns have tried to paint a picture that high fructose corn syrup is no different than white sugar. It is interesting that the industry is trying to make their product look harmless by comparing it to another unhealthy substance. Regardless of the lunacy of the comparison, the claim is false. During the study conducted at Princeton, subjects consuming foods laced with high fructose corn syrup experienced weight gain, high increases in triglyceride levels, and fat deposits in the abdominal area. This study, however, does not stand alone in its implication of high fructose corn syrup and its health damaging effects.
An earlier study looked at the direct differences between white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. This study separated two groups: one was given white sugar, the other high fructose corn syrup. The group receiving white sugar received a similar amount to what would be found in a regular can of soda. The other group received high fructose corn syrup in half the volume in comparison to the amount of white sugar given to the first group. Researchers found that high fructose corn syrup consumption led to increased triglycerides, abdominal fat, and weight gain. The group on white sugar did not experience any of these effects. Researchers also hypothesized that this could lead to leptin and insulin resistance leading to a predisposition toward obesity. Leptin is a hormone that signals to the brain that you are full. Research has shown that high fructose corn syrup does inhibit this hormone leading to excess calorie intake.
The claim that high fructose corn syrup is the same as white sugar simply does not pan out according to many scientific studies. Americans have heard that high fructose corn syrup isn’t healthy but many cannot articulate why. The reality is fructose is processed entirely differently in the body than sucrose and other sugars. This leads to fatty liver, increased abdominal fat, leptin resistance, increased triglycerides, and other negative health effects not seen with other types of sugar. High fructose corn syrup is not a benign ingredient in foods and consumers should consciously evaluate ingredients labels on food and avoid it entirely.