The Daily Feed: More HFCS Fodder for the Grist Mill

It’s not easy to write about high fructose corn syrup, because both sides of this perennial debate simply can’t see eye to eye. Every time a nutritionist, concerned parent or health researcher points out the differences between HFCS and sugar, the Corn Refiners Association issues a counterattack and creates ads that show how wonderful the stuff is.

Their task may have just gotten a little harder. Writer Hilary Parker at Princeton University is reporting the results of a recent study that shows that rats who were given access to high fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those given access to sucrose, or table sugar. Levels of abdominal fat and triglycerides were also higher in the rats consuming HFCS.

The research, supported by the U.S. Public Health Service, was a joint initiative of Princeton’s Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. According to Parker’s news release, “Animals with access to high fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet. In humans, this would be equivalent to a 200-pound man gaining 96 pounds.”

So what now? Those advocating diets free of HFCS will continue to dig in their heels and encourage consumers to avoid products with the ingredient. And the corn lobby? It won’t be long, I’m guessing, before we see a swift counter response.


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.

The Daily Feed: Less Sugar in the Cereal Bowl

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