Monday, January 14, 2013

H-F Corn Syrup Blamed For Obesity Epidemic !

High-Fructose Corn Syrup is a ubiquitous man-made sweetener that's linked to a host of health problems. One can debate the wisdom of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's war on larger-size sodas by having his Health Commissioner Thomas Farley (see photo) issue bans on selling large-sized soft drinks in the New York city area, but health experts across the political spectrum agree on this much: American's sweet tooth is killing them.

The world-wide consumption of sugar has been linked to numerous health problems, including the current obesity epidemic. Many experts believe the main malefactor is not real sugar but a particular man-made form of sugar: high-fructose con syrup (HFCS). Things got sticky not long after it began flooding our food supply in the decade of 1975 to 1985.  ''We can trace the obesity epidemic back to the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup,'' says top American cardiologist Dr Chauncey Crandall. He adds, ''If you drink sweetened colas, eat cereals, fruit juice drinks, crackers, candy, cookies breads, baby foods, or buy processed foods, you can be sure you're ingesting HFCS.''  It's a man-made version of fructose produced by processing cornstarch.

As the amount of HFCS has increased ubiquitously in our diets, so have our waistlines, along with the health problems including Type 2 diabetes. But is HFCS really to blame? Should the government step in and ban its use?  Presently, there is no doubt among health officials that our sweet tooth has contributed to the spiraling rates of obesity; recent studies indicate that HFCS is more to blame than mere cane sugar.  Researchers at Texas Southwest Medical Center found the fructose is turned into fat by the body more quickly than other sugars, such as cane sugar. They found that when fructose was eaten with a fatty meal of a cheeseburger, fries and soft drink -- the fat is much more likely to be stored rather than burned and used for energy.

Dr Crandell says, ''that it also bypasses the normal mechanisms that turn off hunger, unlike real sugar, which turns off hunger signals in the central nervous system. In addition to causing overeating, the sweetener can increase weight gain even when no extra calories are consumed.  Researchers at Princeton University found that rats fed HFCS gained 47% more weight than rats who were fed an equal number of calories, but no corn syrup.''  I have discovered a new UCLA study showing that HFCS may have another adverse effect. They found when rats were fed a fructose solution in place of their drinking water of six weeks, their ability to think and remember was hampered. Specifically, it affected their ability to navigate a maze. The UCLA professor of neurology offered these words of warning: ''Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to think and remember information, making you Dumb as well as Fat!''

British researchers found that if fructose is present when children's fat cells are maturing, more cells become belly fat. A large waistline increases the risk of many problems including cardiovascular disease metabolic syndrome and certain cancers. They found that fructose decreased the body's sensitivity to insulin -- a characteristic of Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, a study published in last year's Journal of Nutrition found a correlation between diets high in HFCS and markers for heart disease in teens.

The Way I See It....High-Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the biggest health problems today. Should the government control the use of HFCS?  Usually, I'm not a fan of Big Brother, as you know from some my previous postings, telling us what to do or not to do, however, there are instances where we need government protection. Right now, we have countries where more than have of their citizens are overweight and one-third are obese. In this instance, I think governments should take action and remove high-fructose corn syrup from our food supply.

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