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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Do you know about high fructose corn syrup?

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that rats fed high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

Not only does it increase weight gain in rats, but 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.

In the study professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction said" "Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests. When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.

"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic," Avena said.

The new research complements previous work led by Hoebel and Avena demonstrating that sucrose can be addictive, having effects on the brain similar to some drugs of abuse.

Now of course the people that make high fructose corn syrup have gone into defense mode and there are even attempts to change the labelling of food to "corn sugar" instead to give it a better name (Think: KFC as being "Kitchen Fresh Chicken" rename LOL!).

Anyway, they even made a commercial to change OUR minds:

Kudos go out to Saturday Night Live this past week for spoofing their video. If you are like me, you'll appreciate the spin off and get the humour too!

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