Q: I just read this article, which seems to suggest that high-fructose corn syrup really isn’t any worse for you than sugar. Could that be true?
A: There’s been a lot in the media lately about the evils of high-fructose corn syrup, so much so that lobbying groups on behalf of the ingredient (found in almost every packaged product on the grocery store shelf) have started their own public service campaign.
While there isn’t currently evidence to suggest that high fructose syrup as an ingredient directly impacts your health, its effects on the health of the average American have been huge–literally.
The spike in the rates of obesity can be loosely tied to the increased use of HFCS in the food supply. Research suggests that it’s unlikely that the ingredient permanently alters the metabolic system, but its use has made the cost of the foods we consume much cheaper making us grow accustomed to those “biggie” sizes and huge portions. Because we can afford more food, we eat more food. After all, weren’t we all told to clean our plates? I guess mom didn’t count on the plates getting so much bigger.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at email@example.com.
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