Topics: Obesity, High-fructose corn syrup, Sucrose Pages: 5 (1280 words) Published: October 4, 2014
Is a sweetener made from corn really natural and safe to consume? According to various studies and research, it appears not. Since the transition of sugar to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the 1970’s, the new added sweetener has become a health-threatening factor in the United States. The corn based sweetener contains higher levels of fructose than natural sugar making a larger impact on Americans’ health. The highly processed sweetener has been a major influence in the ongoing epidemic of major diseases that put the wellbeing and health of its consumers in a jeopardizing state. Considering the potential health risks that accompany the consumption of high fructose corn syrup, it is important that the public is aware of the issue and is further informed of what this substance really is.

High fructose corn syrup is a highly processed synthetic sweetener. Sucrose, also known as sugar, is made up of half fructose and half glucose, while HFCS is made up of fifty-five percent fructose and forty-two percent glucose (Parker). In many jelly and dressing products fructose percentage can reach up to a ninety percent as well. Since its launch in the market in the 1970’s, HFCS consumption has sky-rocketed to more than one thousand percent increase (Cooper) replacing sugar in common food products. By the late 1990’s about forty percent of all sweetening enhancers were HFCS, and was primarily used in beverages like soft drinks and juices (Paddock). HFCS is also now used in a large variety of products like candies, pastries, and creams (Cooper) to sweeten them at a lower cost than sugar. This is because HFCS is a mass produced substance and is unquestionably not a natural product.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Corn Refiners Association petitioned the FDA to rename HFCS as “corn sugar” (Lipton) claiming their product was natural and that there was no difference between sugar and HFCS (Gillam). They were eventually corresponded with a denial from the FDA and a false claim sue from the sugar industry proving that HFCS is nothing but an artificial sweetener incomparable to natural sugar. HFCS is altering the brain and leaving individuals with the desire for more which is extremely similar to the alterations and behavior caused by other addictive substances (Cooper). HFCS is now considered the “gateway drug” to a life of diseases including obesity and diabetes (Cooper).

Unfortunately, HFCS has been feeding the United States into a diabetic and obesity epidemic. Americans are consuming about fifty-five pounds of HFCS per person, per year, holding the highest rate in the world (Ridgeway). In only a twenty year span, HFCS had already become the main sweetener in drinks offered for sale in the United States (Ridgeway). Many studies have found that the high consumption of HFCS in the United States is clearly linked to serious diseases. A new research made by the University of South Carolina and the University of Oxford showed that excessive percentage of HFCS daily consumption by Americans explains the increasing type 2 diabetes epidemic (Ridgeway). Since its introduction on the market, the sales of HFCS have grown at approximately the same rate as the development of diabetes and obesity (Lipton). HFCS is not only putting Americans health at risk, but their lives too.

Consuming high fructose corn syrup has been the main cause of the escalating diabetes and obesity outbreak. Studies have shown that the human body finds it difficult to process and metabolize large quantities of fructose making type 2 diabetes a major risk (Paddock). In addition to making consumers susceptible to such a risk, the disease derived from HFCS is becoming deadly. One of the top causes of death in the United States today is diabetes, whose risks have increased immensely since the launch of HFCS (Ridgeway). Although diabetes is a serious issue, it is not the only heath risk presented by the synthetic corn-based sweetener. Obesity...
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