What is the missing content in this ad and why is it worth talking about it for the sake of health?

January 18, 2012

I have been meaning to look up the research linked to ads about high fructose corn syrup for awhile. You know the ones. They says that the two are the same and that your body doesn’t know the difference. What they don’t every explicitly say in any of the ads I have seen is: they are both high calorie carbohydrates that should be eaten in moderation, err on the side of less rather than more.

Turns out that the Corn Refiners Association started the ad campaign to clear up misconceptions about corn syrup versus cane sugar. You can see the original ad here:


I cannot embed it because the Corn Refiners have disabled embedding. After a bit of surfing, I did find one of the ads from the campaign because someone else is using it along with their personal conclusions about why corn syrup is bad. I thought it would be worth checking to see if I could find any research.    

A review of the science [found here: http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/4/6/515.full.pdf+html] supports several conclusions. Of course, the broadest conclusion is that more research is needed. But that being said, here goes. On p. 519, the authors conclude,

“From a compositional standpoint, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, invert sugar, honey, and concentrated fruit juices are all virtually interchangeable. All of these nutritive sweeteners are composed of approximately 50% glucose and 50% fructose. All are absorbed similarly, have similar sweetness, and have the same number of calories per gram.”

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