High Fructose Corn Syrup Responsible for Obesity

I guess I could say I expected a little bit more from you guys than the PC answer that doesnt make anyone mad. Anyone being, companies that produce high fructose corn syrup.
Maybe you could look into something for me as you guys might have more tools at your disposal.

I remember reading a small and rather discreet column in the mens health magazine regarding obesity and HFC’s role. From what I remember they claimed that HFC wasnt utilized the way normal sugar was, HFC wouldnt not get used immediately like white sugar, HFC would turn almost immediately into fat, HFC would not trigger the release of Leptin, a hormone that was explained to give people the “FULL FEELING” after they have ate so much.

So we have people eating more and not becoming full and to top it off teh calories they are eating are almost immediately being turned into fat. Sounds like a recipe for obesity to me.


I was rereading the article you all wrote and I guess I missed the part where you make the acknowledgement that A-HFCs stop the release of the hormone that makes you full and then B-Claim were drinking a load of soda that have HFCs in them but then UTTERLY FAIL TO MAKE THE CONNECTION that you might eat a whole lot more food because of the consumption of so much HFCS?
Really? You missed that?

It didnt make sense to you that maybe the american public is eating more because they dont feel full because they are eating HFCs in almost every meal?

Cant wait to hear a response to this.

Is it possible you guys might be able to find the article Im talking about?

Not to get to conspiracy theorist with this, but it makes an absolute whole lot of sense to put something into food that would make people eat more.

Methinks you might have a bit of an agenda yourself. You seem convinced of the notion that HCFS is the product of some horrific conspiracy and appear unwilling to even consider contrary evidence.

One article in a magazine - an article you can’t cite, a magazine you either won’t or can’t name - does not constitute scientific evidence.

There is no question that adding HCFS to foods adds essentially empty calories and that empty calories is the last thing people with weight problems need, but obesity rates are rising even where HCFS is not a common additive (such as Europe and urban China) so even if it is a factor is can not be the only one in the problem of global obesity.

What the hell is “PC” about Cecil’s response?

I tells ya, overuse of the term “PC” is political correctness gone mad.

ETA: linky.

It’s actually the fructose that doesn’t trigger leptin, in a rat study. Good ol’ sucrose (white sugar) and HFCS both contain similar amounts of fructose vs. glucose, so it sounds like there’s plenty of sweet stuff that might meet this criteria. (Honey has a similar composition too.) Watch that sweet stuff rather than simply demonizing the corn industry.

I don’t think it is the HFCS per se, but the fact that they are so hard to avoid without reading labels. That stuff is in everything, even stuff most people don’t associate with sweets, like salad dressing and barbecue sauce. I don’t curse the corn industry and much as I do the prepared food industry for putting sugar (and HFCS is the cheapest and most ubiquitous) in everything they make. That is why those pro-HFCS ads scoffing at people who avoid HFCS are so misleading; even they say it should be used “in moderation”, but unless you read labels like a hawk, it is very difficult to consume HFCS in moderation.

The UK and Australia have a similar obesity problem to the US.

HFCs are not used in the UK or Australia…

The study upon which endersshadow’s mystery article is based seems to be this one:

Shapiro, Alexandra; Wei Mu, Carlos A Roncal, Kit-Yan Cheng, Richard J. Johnson, and Philip J. Scarpace (November 2008). “Fructose-Induced Leptin Resistance Exacerbates Weight Gain in Response to Subsequent High Fat Feeding”. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol.

Anyone with Pubmed or the like feel like digging that one up and posting the abstract?

Here you go:

Note that this was done to rats, and the groups compared were a fructose-free diet versus a 60% fructose diet, which are definite extremes. This is a “proof of concept” type of study, but whether it applies to humans and to diets that they might conceivably ever eat is another matter.

Much obliged.

I know that personally HFCS does whack things to my blood glucose readings, how it affects my metabolism I have no idea, I just avoid the stuff as much as possible.

What I think the problem is for most people is they are now chugging immense quantities of drinks that are not plain water. It is amazing how many calories is in just plain soda or powdered drink mixes. A person can chug down several hundred calories in a few minutes if they are not careful. Portion control nowdays is hosed up, portions when eating out are enough for 3 meals for me. If you open a can of spaghettios, it is 2+ servings per can, canned soup is more than one serving per can. I have seen people at work eating 2 and 3 of the little healthy choice meals at a single meal…

Here’s an absolutely critical point from Cecil’s article:

Let me add to that from the Wiki page on HFCS.

See what I’m getting at? Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. The type of HFCS used in soft drinks has a few percentage points more fructose. The type used in other commercial products has a few percentage points less fructose.

Sorry, you cannot make a conspiracy out of that. And another fact also affects the hysteria about obesity.

The problem with sugar is sugar. Not the type of sweet stuff, but the amount we take in. Supersizing portions has far more effect on obesity than the type of sugar used as a sweetener. Coke used to come in 6 oz bottles. Pepsi, a distant second place, doubled the size of its bottles to 12 oz for the same price and doubled its profits.

Both sizes now feel like quaint anachronisms. People drink from 16 oz or 20 oz or larger containers on a regular basis. Or chug a liter or two. We have the never-empty glass free at restaurants, something that was unheard of as recently as the 70s.

Quantity. It’s the quantity of sugar that people consume that contributes to obesity. The quantity of sugar per capita has increased over the span of time you talk about.

We drink an average of 35 gallons of soft drinks more each year. Soft drinks contain about 13 calories per ounce. There are 128 ounces in a gallon. 13 x 128 x 35 = 58,240 calories. That’s 16 extra pounds. Per year. On average. Just from soft drinks. Some people have to push the average up. (I don’t drink carbonated beverages, so I push the average down.) That means more than 16 pounds extra per year. In addition to all the extra sugar in all the extra foods.

Quantity. Quantity, quantity, quantity. More sugar, more carbohydrates, more fat, even more protein. That’s the problem. Take HFCS out of this equation and you still have the exact same equation.

Not exactly. Many products use HFCS not because it is sweet, but because it is cheap. If it were not available, they would use other additives to increase viscosity, for instance. Many “low fat” salad dressings use HFCS to create the viscosity of oil without the fat, then cut the sweetness with salt. So they end up with a product which is technically low fat, but has just as many calories due to the HFCS, plus additional sodium. If it wasn’t so cheap, they would use other emulsifiers to create the viscous mouth feel of oil. Not all HFCS applications would be replaced by other sugars.

One other problem with the statistical analysis by Exapno is the fact that it ignores the amount of the soft drink market taken by diet drinks that have no calories. So in fact, the effect of the increase is not so great as made out.

Still, these are minor points. The main point he made is accurate. We eat more per serving, and we eat more often, than we did in the past. This has made us fatter, not HFCS, which is actually not significantly different than regular sugar.

Well, yes and no - you could make everything you eat from scratch, yielding a very tight control over the contents, but that would mean you spend more time and effort cooking.

As I am poor these days we eat very little processed foods (I do not drink soda, the husband drink sugar/HCFS-free diet soda) and thus have a low intake of HCFS. We still get some in our condiments, but much less than the average family.

The fact that we eat pre-packaged, pre-prepared meals regularly is one of the banes of our society. I try to cook for myself from scratch now as often as possible. It does take time, though. :frowning:

The pre-prepared stuff isn’t inherently bad - in some niches it’s a godsend, in fact. The problem comes from eating it all the time. Once again, it’s a lack of moderation that a major factor.

Full disclosure: I worked at a facility that makes HFCS, but I didn’t work directly with that process.

Slate did an article about the negatives and not-so-negatives of HFCS: link.

There are a couple reasons producers prefer HFCS over sugar. The first was cost. As I understood it, it’s not that HFCS is cheap, it’s that in the US sugar is tarriffed enough to drive the cost higher than HFCS (which is why HFCS isn’t as popular outside the US). The second is liquid HFCS is easier to handle than granular sugar (a pump and pipe is cheaper and more reliable than a conveyor belt).

Interesting fact: People in the HFCS business tend to pronounce the “fruc” part of fructose in a way that rhymes with “truck” rather than the way I learned it in biology (in which it rhymed with “fruit”).

I’m not going to quibble with any criticisms of my post. I think they help my larger point that the complexities of the total food consumption of the nation over a period of years make any accusations of a specific additive ludicrous. HFCS is the cause of obesity? You can’t even define what its role is in the foods that use it.

It works the other way as well. You can’t proclaim that any food or supplement or nutrient is “the” preventer of disease or cause of health or longer life. Even the very best longitudinal studies involving thousands of cases have a poor overall record for isolating individual effects. Smaller studies are totally meaningless.

It’s always convenient to simplify the issue and cull out one specific item to fixate on, while shouting loads of faux scientific terms. This works for almost anything. People like simplicity and like the appearance of validity, even if they don’t understand anything about the issue. Hearing it loudly is easier than researching it independently.

Bah, humbug. Or maybe: bah, hamburg. :stuck_out_tongue:

Humbug, indeed.

No response necessary.

I give up. Are you agreeing with me or dismissing me? I honestly can’t tell.