Diabetes Linked to High HFCS Consumption
Countries where more high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is found in their food supply are more likely to have higher type 2 diabetes rates than countries that do not use it, researchers report. According to researchers from USC and the University of Oxford they have found that in countries with higher use of HFCS the average prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 8%, compared with 6.7% in other countries. Their report was recently published in the journal Global Public Health. These results were found after adjustments were made for body mass index, population, and gross domestic product.
Michael Goran, the lead author of the study and a professor of preventive medicine, director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center and co-director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, says that HFCS could pose a serious public health problem on a global scale. The study supports previous studies which suggest that HFCS consumption could have negative health consequences that are more harmful than natural sugar.
The investigators reveal that of 42 countries they studied, the United States had the highest consumption of HFCS (55 pounds/person a year). Hungary was the second highest, at 46 pounds/person annually. Countries where people consumed about a pound or less per year included China, Australia, Denmark, India, France, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Uruguay and Britain.
These caloric sweeteners, which are popularly used in beverages, have come under tight scrutiny as more scientists, health advocates, and politicians link their role in the current obesity epidemic. Government data indicates that calories from sugary beverages contribute 7% of the daily calories in the average American diet.
The researchers believe that public health strategies which aim to prevent diabetes must include efforts to provide consumers with better nutritional labeling concerning HFCS content.
MacVean, M. Study finds link between high fructose corn syrup, Type 2 diabetes. LA Times.