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Fructose As Culprit In the Obesity Epidemic

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the check-your-brake-fluid dept.

Biotech 821

drewtheman writes "According to an interview with Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology from the University of California, San Francisco, fructose, once touted as diabetic-friendly because it doesn't raise insulin levels directly, could be a major culprit for the obesity epidemic, high blood pressure, and elevated blood levels of LDL in Americans and others worldwide as they adopt American-style diets. Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of high-fructose corn syrup, both ingredients found in copious quantity in most American prepared foods."

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from the "no shit" dept. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865467)

How long have nutritionists been telling us this?

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (5, Insightful)

Optikschmoptik (971793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865495)

How long have nutritionists been telling us this?

At least as long as Fat Land [amazon.com] has been out, but probably a bit longer than that. The story of American obesity is the story of American corn subsidies, which is therefore the story of high-fructose corn syrup and omnipresent, cheaper-than-water soda; and the story of vending machines and fast-food restaurants, 'family-style' Applebee's-like chains that exist solely to help burn off the excess corn stock by selling almost nothing but corn and its byproducts.

Don't tell the presidential candidates though, they have to win in Iowa!

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (5, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865581)

and the story of vending machines and fast-food restaurants,

There is something to what you write. But, here in Japan vending machines are absolutely everywhere - really, it's crazy; I walked about 3km every morning to my previous job, in a partly rural area and I realized that there was not a single spot along the route where I could not see at least one vending machine. And there has always been lots and lots of fast-food here as well as takeout meals; many traditional Japanese dishes like soba, onigiri, oden and so on are meant to eat quickly from a counter or street vendor cart, or while going from place to place, and the bento meal is ubiquitous. A traditional Japanese meal, furthermore, is an orgy in "grazing" behavior, with dozens of small dishes to eat in turn.

No, while "fast-food" style serving may contribute to creating bad habits, the main culprit is still what people eat, and how much of it, not how you eat it. Most Japanese meals just aren't very fattening; while you often have some part of the meal that is fatty or calorie-rich, you don't get much of it, while you often do get large amounts of vegetables, pickles and other lean stuff. A steak, for instance, may be 100 grams or so, and be just one dish of a dozen you get for your meal.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865601)

I agree with you in total, except on three key beverages:
Bubbleman, Bubbleman II and Bubbleman SPACE Flavour.

Sigh, what a country. I miss Japan.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (4, Insightful)

Optikschmoptik (971793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865659)

No, while "fast-food" style serving may contribute to creating bad habits, the main culprit is still what people eat

First of all, you walked about 6 times the distance that might be considered the maximum for an American before getting into a car and driving :) . But yeah, of course, it's what is in the vending machines that counts. Next time you're in the States, see if you can buy something from a vending machine without some type of corn or corn-syrup or corn-byproduct as a major ingredient (sometimes it's even in 'diet' products, which have their own set of health threats). I won't say it's impossible, but it's not easy either. The stuff is cheap as dirt to produce, and has long been known to be extremely efficient for conversion and storage as fat.

Fast-food in the States is essentially cheap food. It's there because its corn-syrup ingredients are so cheap to produce and easy to maintain and transport (bonus: it doubles as a preservative). Most of this vending-machine / fast-food / suburban-feed-bag (TGIFriday's et al.) industry is built around this cheapness and ease. They are symptoms. I would guess that vending machines in Japan are the result of a different economic cause.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (4, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865729)

But yeah, of course, it's what is in the vending machines that counts. Next time you're in the States, see if you can buy something from a vending machine without some type of corn or corn-syrup or corn-byproduct as a major ingredient (sometimes it's even in 'diet' products, which have their own set of health threats).

Yes, the contents are rather different. In most drink vending machines, most drinks are cold or hot green teas and coffee, with a smaller amount of juices, water and sports drinks. Actual carbonated soda is very rare; it's not that unusual to see even Coca Cola vending machines that don't actually sell cola.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (1)

orin (113079) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865807)

And then there is Pocari Sweat. What is a Pocari? Why do they bottle its sweat?

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865683)

The Japanese must be very law abiding. I remember cigarette vending machines on the street here (UK). I think even bubble gum machines would now have to be heavily armoured to last long, and even then the coin slots would rapidly be put out of service.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865959)

There's probably some truth in that. I spent some time in a Japanese town slightly smaller than the one I grew up near in the UK. When I got on the bus, I was given something that looked like a raffle ticket, with a number indicating where I got on. At the front was a big board explaining how much people with each numbered ticket had to pay to get of at each stop. When I got off, I was expected to just drop the ticket and the money down a hole by the driver. The driver had no way of telling exactly how much I'd paid.

When I asked what happens if people don't have enough change on them, I was told that generally they pay a bit more the next time they ride. I'd love to have a system like that here, since it would save a lot of time with people buying bus tickets when they got on at each stop, but I can't imagine it working with the average British person, who would just see it as a way to avoid paying for the service. It seems to be not so much an issue of how law-abiding the Japanese are as the culture of respect.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865819)

The difference is that Japanese vending machines mainly sell soiled schoolgirl panties.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (5, Insightful)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865953)

The Japanese meal you describe sounds somewhat healthier than the American fast food diet of:

Two beef patties slathered with carbohydrate-rich condiments sandwiched between carbohydrate-rich bread, served with a side of carbohydrate-rich french fries and a 32 oz. cup of high fructose corn syrup. All super-sized because the marginal cost of the ingredients is so low, it is profitable for the restaurants to offer extra portions for a premium.

The innocuous-seeming bun, even, is so loaded with refined carbohydrates that you might as well be eating your hamburger in the middle of a donut sliced in half.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865755)

Don't tell the presidential candidates though, they have to win in Iowa!
Why not tell this guy [washingtonpost.com] :

He calls himself the "taxpayers' best friend," and this has led him to controversial stands, such as voting against federal farming subsidies despite the wide swaths of agricultural land in his district.

Re:from the "no shit" dept. (2, Informative)

Xiph1980 (944189) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865525)

Well, fructose isn't the worst of problems. Regular granulated sugar, glucose and glucose syrup are much more fattening, because they have that sugar-dip effect.
When you eat granulated sugar or glucose, when the sugar-low kicks in, you'll get hungry again to replenish you bloodsugarlevels, hence you'll search for that candy bar again. Fructose's effect to your bloodsugar is much less, thus will make you eat less.

Also, high fructose corn syrup, is for about half of it glucose syrup, so there you have it.

Dr. Nick knows best.... (2, Funny)

arcite (661011) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865649)

Dr. Nick: Instead of making sandwiches with bread, use pop tarts. Instead of chewing gum, chew bacon.

Bart: You could brush your teeth with milkshakes.

Dr. Nick: Hey, did you go to Hollywood Upstairs Medical College too?

-----

Homer: So you think you know better than this family, eh? Well as long as you're in my house you'll do what I do and believe what I believe! So butter your bacon!

Bart: Yes father.

Lisa: Mom, dad, my spiritual quest is over!

Homer: Hold that thought... Bacon up that sausage, boy!

Bart: But dad, my heart hurts!

Film at 11 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865473)

Sugar makes you fat? Who'd have thought?!

Not me (4, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865493)

http://www.freakonomics.com/pdf/whatmakesfoodfatte ning.pdf [freakonomics.com]

The Dietary and Nutritional Survey of British Adults, Gibson (1996, p. 405) concluded that "sugars
appear to have a weak negative [italics added] association with BMI that is not totally explained
by confounders such as dieting, under-reporting or the inverse correlation between energy from
sugars and fat."

Re:Not me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865663)

Same here in Germany:
http://www.dife.de/de/index.php?request=/de/presse /pressemitteilungen/29_07_2005.php [www.dife.de]

The intersting thing is that the mice that got took frutose diet did take in
less calories than the reference group but still got fat via a change
in metabolism ( higher liverfats )

But regular sugar here is 100% sucrose and not substituted with fructose.
haha.( But softdrinks here start to have fructose added too )

MACC

11 types... (4, Funny)

elysium-os (998821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865829)

"There are 11 types of people in the world, those who know binaries and those who don't."

Ok so you don't, I do, but who is in the 3th group?

Isn't that at obvious? (4, Insightful)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865477)

Excessive quantities of anything is not good for the diet. It has been known for decades that high quantities of carbohydrates can cause weight increase. The confusion here is linking fructose as being good for diabetics (yes, and it still is in reasonable quantities) and excessive consumption of fructose leading to obesity.

Re:Isn't that at obvious? (4, Funny)

Fyz (581804) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865637)

Ah, the infamous and controversial "Don't stuff your face" argument...

Re:Isn't that at obvious? (1)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865859)

Yeah, I bet he believes in that exercise bunk too...

Re:Isn't that at obvious? (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865667)

There's much more to it than that.

Fructose is primarily metabolized by the liver. The increased levels of fructose in the liver result in massive changes for the worse in the way the body processes sweetners and leads to a much greater induction of insulin resistance.

That is, in an otherwise healthy population of adults, the increase in diabetes and obesity will be much greater with high fructose corn syrup than with the equivalent amount of regular sugar.

Ever since hearing Dr. Lustig give a talk on the subject, I've been trying to limit the amount of high fructose corn syrup I consume. But it seems like more and more products at the supermarket contain it. For example, the odds are overwhelming that your favorite salad dressings use high fructose corn syrups.

Re:Isn't that at obvious? (1)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865837)

Agreed, with one exception. Overwhelming odds they may be, but my salad dressing does not come in a bottle. Its 1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts olive oil, herbs, salt, pepper. Perhaps its a European thing - I simply do not know enough about the American lifestyle - but many people appear to use convenience foods much less than in the US. Personally, we eat very little frozen vegetables, most are fresh and locally produced (locally == within 50 miles). Fruit is a mixture of locally produced and imported . Meat is often frozen of course but it hasn't been produced into any other form - its just meat from a butcher, and living in a fishing village means that fresh seafood is always available. I also take reasonable exercise (gardening, decorating, walking perhaps more than my American counterparts etc) and I am managing to keep my weight down despite having retired. :-)

Nasty aftertaste (0, Flamebait)

TheEmptySet (1060334) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865481)

Personally, I can't stand all the corn syrup the Americans seem to have in everything they eat. Maybe this is my body's way of saying "get the hell out of this silly country before you become one of them!"?

Re:Nasty aftertaste (5, Funny)

steve86-ed (469774) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865521)

Personally, I can't stand all the corn syrup the Americans seem to have in everything they eat. Maybe this is my body's way of saying "get the hell out of this silly country before you become one of them!"?


If you don't like it, you can leave. We don't need no whinny Euro-cans telling us not to devour copious amounts of corn syrup and sugars. And stop calling me an American. America is huge, I just live in the best part of it, the USA. That makes me a Citizen of the United States of America, but you can shorten that down to a CUSA. From now on when you want to badmouth the best nation on Earth, you can address us as Cusans. It's about time we had our own identity.

I think all the corn syrup has gone to my head...

Re:Nasty aftertaste (2, Funny)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865597)

LOL - when the rest of your countrymen accept the title cusans we might start using it, until then you are all Americans. The others we will continue to call Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians or whatever is appropriate. By the way, not everyone from outside America is from Europe nor, according to your logic, should all those who do live in that continent be addressed as Europeans, but they can be called British, French, German, Italian etc. Unless you personally know TheEmptySet, I think that you are making an assumption that he is European, but you might well be correct.

Re:Nasty aftertaste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865693)

Can I just call you a Citizen Under National Threat? You can shorten that down too...

Re:Nasty aftertaste (1)

TheEmptySet (1060334) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865711)

"If you don't like it, you can leave."

Thanks. I did.

Re:Nasty aftertaste (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865715)

Don't the British use corn sugar as table sugar?

Re:Nasty aftertaste (2, Informative)

Bob Boswell (994763) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865771)

Don't the British use corn sugar as table sugar?

Nope

The sugar on British tables comes from either sugar cane or sugar beet. It's possible that some corn sugar is used in ready-made foods, but seems a bit unlikely as we don't grow a vast amount of sweetcorn.

Re:Nasty aftertaste (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865887)

Good a place as any to shill Boylans [beveragesdirect.com] a sugar-cane sweetened beverage you can get in better supermarkets.
Orders of magnitude better than the major brands.

Re:Nasty aftertaste (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865801)

Don't the British use corn sugar as table sugar?

Nope. We use cane sugar. I don't think you can even get corn sugar that easily. We don't use it in anything much, not even soft drinks - which is why American soft drinks taste very very different to UK soft drinks.

Re:Nasty aftertaste (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865895)

Don't the British use corn sugar as table sugar?
As far as I'm aware, it's sucrose, mainly from sugar cane. The infamous "high fructose corn syrup" doesn't usually appear as an ingredients here, probably because we don't have corn farmers and hence no artificially cheap (i.e. subsidised) corn syrup.

I don't know how widespread U.S.-produced HFCS is outside that country anyway, or what the issues would be with the levels of subsidy. But I do know that we don't see much- if any- of it within the UK.

Re:Nasty aftertaste (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865885)

If you don't like it, you can leave. We don't need no whinny Euro-cans telling us not
In all seriousness, what makes you think the guy was European anyway?

Ever been to Mexico? Germany? Russia? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865607)


Ever been to Mexico? Germany? Russia? God damn there are a lot of F-A-T F-U-C-K-E-R-S there. And man, are they U-G-L-Y to boot.

Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865497)

Thanks to those motherfuckers, the sugar growers, and the congresscritters, we pay about three times what the rest of the world pays for sugar. That's why we get that corn syrup crap in soft drinks, and so much of the rest of our food.

-jcr

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865527)

Mod parent up, please. Sugar prices are unnaturally high, in America, due to the government's caving to the sugar cartel. "New Coke" wasn't the new Coca-Cola-- if you want the old version with real sugar, you have to buy Mexican imports. Go figure.

(If you want the version with real cocaine, I think you're out of luck.)

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865539)

I'm sorry but this is a stupid argument that's been pulled out over and over by people who don't want to take responsabilities. You have lung cancer? Damn those tobacco lobbyists. You have obesity? Damn the junk food lobbyists...

Guess what: everybody knows tobacco is bad for you, and excess sugar is bad for you. Anybody who tells you "eat/drink/smoke this, it's safe" should trigger your bullshit alarm and make you wonder whom exactly this person is paid by. What's more, good common sense should tell you that levels of sugar and fat modern westerners consume can't be good for health. Just like inhaling smoke, it's just completely obvious that the human body wasn't designed for this. If you let lobbyists win over common sense, you deserve to be fat.

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1, Flamebait)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865569)

You need to read up on Cargill, son.

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (2, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865765)

But the GP is right too. You don't HAVE to buy pre-processed foods. 95% of the crap sold in grocery stores just isn't good for you. You can buy the ingredients and make it yourself like your mother may have done. In fact, you may find that it tastes better, is less expensive, as well as being better for you. My wife and I enjoy cooking together, recreating some of the things we had in fine restaurants. Sometimes it's even better since it's not mass produced. Good food is aphrodisiac...

You have 80,000 or so meals in your life, and they may as well be good for you and great tasting.

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865961)

But the GP is right too. You don't HAVE to buy pre-processed foods. 95% of the crap sold in grocery stores just isn't good for you. You can buy the ingredients and make it yourself like your mother may have done.
For poor people, even the ingredients that they can afford tend to be shit. High in fats, sugars and/or salt. Low quality meat and pre-processed canned/boxed foods are also much cheaper than fresh ingredients.

Not to mention that some people's mothers are busy working two or more jobs and don't have time for anything besides a McDonalds quality dinner.

http://foodstampchallenge.typepad.com/ [typepad.com]
Voluntarily eating at/below the poverty level will change your perspective.

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865629)

I agree entirely. But in both the USA and, to a lesser degree, Europe obesity is on the increase. We all know it is bad and we all know what we should do to prevent it. At what point (i.e. when what % of the population is clinically obese) do we accept that some people just cannot think for themselves and take action to prevent over-consumption of fructose? In many places in the world you cannot now legally smoke in confined spaces. We acknowledge the harm that tobacco smoke can cause and we are taking (too little, too late perhaps) measures to help people maintain their health. I do not know how much obesity costs in the US in lost working days, medical treatment etc but at some point the corn farmers are going to have to get used to the idea that they are not the only group of people in the USA who count. Changing the crop that they grow shouldn't be that difficult a task. Politicians need to be thinking about this now, or is it too difficult a challenge for them?

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865813)

Why not just move on to the logical conclusion? Let's put everyone into a bubble as soon as they're born, and then never let them out until the day they die. That way we can ensure that they never have to take any of that nasty 'personal responsibility' for any of their actions, and they'll be COMPLETELY SAFE and NEVER GET SICK and NEVER GET HURT and won't that be wonderful?

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865905)

No, because you are taking things to an illogical extreme in my opinion. Is there any sound reason for having such high levels of fructose in soft drinks, other than to get rid of the fructose that you have too much off? If the farmers grew oranges, for example, you could simply serve fresh orange juice which is a far healthier alternative to sodas. But if people are too stupid not to stop eating the wrong things when they are becoming patently obese what is your better suggestion? All your government has to do is reduce or remove the subsidies for farmers, they will produce something else, and you will have less fructose to get rid of. You can therefore reduce its use in foodstuffs. You don't have to put people in a bubble, just stop making it so attractive to produce something you do not need and encourage everyone can eat far more healthily.

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865921)

In many places in the world you cannot now legally smoke in confined spaces. We acknowledge the harm that tobacco smoke can cause and we are taking (too little, too late perhaps) measures to help people maintain their health.
To play devil's advocate here, there's no such thing as "passive fructose/sugar consumption". In other words, if you smoke in an enclosed space, it directly affects me. If you eat crap, it doesn't.

Of course, it's debatable whether the smoking bans in (for example) the UK were ever intended simply to protect others from passive smoke, or- as is implied- to discourage people from smoking altogether for the sake of their *own* health.

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865761)

Guess what: everybody knows tobacco is bad for you, and excess sugar is bad for you.
--
Yep, but tobacco companies putting additional nicotine into cigarettes to hook us faster and deeper to their product and food companies adding fructose to products that don't need it, just because we then buy/eat more of it are different things.

Especially if they both know they're killing us with it.
 

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (1)

wfberg (24378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865929)

I'm sorry but this is a stupid argument that's been pulled out over and over by people who don't want to take responsabilities. You have lung cancer? Damn those tobacco lobbyists. You have obesity? Damn the junk food lobbyists...

You're trying to have your cake and eat it. If consumers' intake of sugar versus high fructose corn syrup is their own damn responsibility, and therefore not a matter for public policy, then surely congress should have stayed out of the whole business of regulating sugar in the first place - which is what GP is complaining about. You can't have it both ways; when it comes to health, consumers should control themselves, but when it comes to buying 'the right product' for 'the economy' consumers cannot be trusted and the government must sway their choices via subsidies and tariffs?

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865559)

Actually you need to also thank the congressmaen that have whored themselves out to these companies and produced the farm bill [mercurynews.com]

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (5, Informative)

MaelstromX (739241) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865621)

You're right, the sugar quotas and corn subsidies raise prices (directly or indirectly) for almost all consumable items. The jury is still out on whether HFCS truly is tied to obesity (there are studies that go both ways, and TFA adds as far as I can tell nothing new to the debate), but there is absolutely no question that it kills us economically.

Just check out this research study [64.233.179.104] that estimates that subtracting the benefits of the quotas/subsidies from the costs (i.e. consumer/producer benefits of lower costs minus "oh but the poor farming corporations!") leaves the American economy almost billion dollars per year better off.

Re:Thank ADM, Cargill and their lobbyists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865643)

Oops, to clarify: REMOVING the quotas/subsidies/etc leaves the economy almost a billion better off.

MX

Sugar? (2, Insightful)

nonsequitor (893813) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865863)

The frustose is from Corn Syrup, not sugar cane. Your rant against sugar farmers should be directed at the corn lobby. Why do you think soft drinks here use corn syrup instead of cane sugar?

Well maybe... (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865509)

But the smart money is still on "Burgers".

/ and no concept of portion control.

Re:Well maybe... (2, Funny)

Talla (95956) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865821)

But the smart money is still on "Burgers". / and no concept of portion control.

The smart money would be on hearing the message before you comment, which you obviously didn't.

And in other news......... (4, Insightful)

axia777 (1060818) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865513)

Pie is tasty and the sky will be blue tomorrow. No shit fructose is bad for us. It is pure simple sugars. The only fructose that IS good for humans is the fruit kind. And that is not simple sugar. Don't drink Soda Pop and always check the labels for High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is says it has it, don't buy it. That shit should be illegalized in most foods.

Re:And in other news......... (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865675)

I agree completely with you on that. I would love to see it made illegal to add to any food.

I keep hoping that with the high corn prices, the food producers will switch back to sugar.

We are all being used as lab rats to test the safety of food additives. Like lab rats, many will end up dying needlessly as a result.

Re:And in other news......... (4, Informative)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865677)

Don't drink Soda Pop and always check the labels for High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is says it has it, don't buy it. That shit should be illegalized in most foods.

Why? HFCS and Sugar breaks down to the same things in the body. Every study I've seen shows that HFCS is no more dangerous than Sugar. Studies that only look at the Fructose show that high amounts of Fructose is dangerous. The HFCS in soft drinks and sport drinks is not high in Fructose. The "High Fructose" part of "High Fructose Corn Syrup" means it has a high content of fructose compared to corn syrup itself (which has next to no fructose).

In fact, a happy paper [nih.gov] at the NIH says pretty much this.

Re:And in other news......... (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865699)

The problem is that a very high proportion of food sold in American supermarkets contains HFCS, including food that shouldn't contain any added sugar; such as peanut butter and bread. The sugar in almost all foods that historically had contained sugar has largely or entirely been replaced with HFCS.

Drugs, weight gain Re:And in other news......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865705)


Agree about the fucktose. I've avoided added sugars like that for a long time. I did not have a problem with weight gain nor overeating. I suddenly did recently because of a drug I was taking gain a lot of weight.

The drug cause the weight gain, it's a side effect. But the weight gain really screwed with my appetite and the weight gain caused me to be borderline type 2. It's been very hard to lose the weight and the screwy way the added weight effects my appetite has made control a problem even after discontinuing the drug.

I can't touch high fructose corn sugar at all. It will cause weigh gain and my blood sugar to be unstable.

I've now completely cut table sugar and anything with the fructose sugars out, I'd only been using table sugar in coffee regularly and did not regularly eat anything with fructose.

I severely control portions where before I didn't have to monitor things closely I now have to monitor them to what seems an insane level.

It was not that much of a weight gain but it caused such a severe effect.

Scaremongering I tells ya! (2, Interesting)

cbuskirk (99904) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865517)

All dem commy pinko leftists wanna do is hurt the American farmer and its just a damn shame. /sarcasm

Corn is the one of the most powerful forces in America. This will get filed away with global warming as libral propaganda.

Re:Scaremongering I tells ya! (1)

axia777 (1060818) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865529)

Too bad for those red blooded mid-westerners that Global Warming will most likely wipe out the Corn Belt of America......LOL.

Re:Scaremongering I tells ya! (1)

steve86-ed (469774) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865655)

Too bad for those red blooded mid-westerners that Global Warming will most likely wipe out the Corn Belt of America......LOL.


NO! America cannot be defeated by irony! The only threats to our freedom are terrorists and communists and I'm pretty sure you're an 'ist of some sort.

I gave up HFCS for new years... (2, Interesting)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865531)

No more ketchup?...snapple? Mexican Coke still uses sugar so I'm cool there...but ketchup?

Re:I gave up HFCS for new years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865549)

find a different brand, like one of the organic varities?

Re:I gave up HFCS for new years... (1)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865565)

I use trader joe's now or whole foods. But people look at me funny when I bring it to work and out to lunch from the office. No place i've ever seen carries anything but the Heinze standard plastic looking versions.

Re:I gave up HFCS for new years... (1)

Tekoneiric (590239) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865723)

or Dublin Dr Pepper [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I gave up HFCS for new years... (5, Informative)

hazem (472289) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865733)

Heinz finally makes an "organic" ketchup that uses cane sugar instead of HFCS for sweetener. It actually tastes a lot better - like I remember it tasting as a kid. I've also seen other brands of ketchup that use regular sugar as well.

I personally gave up HFCS and MSG to the best of my ability about 9 months ago. I'm still too fat (probably all the beer I still drink) but I do feel much much better. That near continuous run-down feeling is gone now. So is that all to frequent feeling after lunch like a bad flu was coming (buzzing in my head, hot flash, sweating, tightness in the chest, congested feeling).

I'm sure someone will respond saying there's no scientific proof that MSG and HFSC are bad for me and that I'm a fool for trying to not consume them. That's just fine... call me a fool. I feel better not eating them and that's reason enough - placebo effect or not.

A must read NYTimes story on corn & corn syrup (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865533)

This [nytimes.com] ran a few years ago and was REALLY interesting. Corn in america == money. Farmers have a corn glut to deal with. 100 years ago, they put the extra corn to work as alcohol (whiskey), and soon we had a nation of alcoholics. So then they came up with corn syrup. That hasn't worked out too well considering how fat Americans are.

Next up-- ethanol!

Not that I'm a skeptic... (4, Informative)

Kyrubas (991784) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865551)

...but where is a link to the paper or actual report? I just don't trust an interview as easily when it comes to scientific claims as I would the scientific data and whatever fallacies it may hold.

On another note, there have been plenty of studies already demonstrating how nutritionally bad fructose is bad for an individual. Here's a compilation I found awhile back of the cons of using fructose so widely in consumables: http://curezone.com/art/read.asp?ID=32&db=6&C0=17 [curezone.com]

Re:Not that I'm a skeptic... (1)

geektrolla (858038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865839)

From the bottom of the interview transcript http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2007 /1969924.htm#transcript [abc.net.au] References: Robert H Lustig Childhood obesity: behavioral aberration or biochemical drive? Reinerpreting the First Law of Thermodynamics. Nature Clinical Practice, Endocrinology & Metabolism Review,August 2006;2;8:447-457 Robert H Lustig, MD The 'Skinny' on Childhood Obesity: How Our Western Environment Starves Kids' Brains. Pediatric Annals, December 2006;35;12:899-907 Elvira Isganaitis,Robert H. Lustig Fast Food, Central Nervous System Insulin Resistance, and Obesity. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005;25:2451-2462

Re:Not that I'm a skeptic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865907)

The references to 3 related scientific papers are at the bottom of the transcript.

Rule of Thumb (3, Interesting)

Dukaso (1128185) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865553)

Here's a decent rule of thumb when it comes to eating food: If you don't know understand what the ingredients are when you may not want to consume it. Pick up any random piece of junk food and read the ingredient panel. Kudos to you if you can even pronounce everything correctly.

Old News... (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865571)

There were published studies clearly showing this effect, 20 years ago. I guess it's taken this long for the industry to stop crushing it long enough to get a word out. I'd paste references but it's sunday morning and they're in a book on the other side of the room.

That fructose corn syrup ain't free. (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865573)

In Capitalist West US corn industry taxes you.
In Soviet Russia CIA spoils Cuban sugar for you.

Have you US cubicle jockeys ever thought about how much you are locked into corn syrup?
A few sick fat 'end users' will not stop the protectionism, tariffs and congress critters.
You have a huge set of new tax credits, grants and loans flowing into big corn for 'ethanol'
Then you have state subsidies.

Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life and own the world?

Re:That fructose corn syrup ain't free. (1, Redundant)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865627)

In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women.

On the other hand... (3, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865615)

Fructose used responsibly is actually beneficial. Fructose is substantially sweeter than glucose, so consuming it could allow you to reduce your sugar intake. Consuming as much fructose as you would otherwise consume glucose is clearly bad for you, but there is an opportunity to reduce intake.

The HFCS used in most soft drinks is (I believe) 50% fructose. It is metabolised almost identically to sucrose: there is an initial enzyme that splits sucrose into glucose and fructose at similar ratios to the contents of the corn syrup, after that the metabolism is identical. It seems unlikely therefore that there is any substantial difference in health effects, and most of the studies quoted in the wikipedia article linked from the main story tend to agree with that.

um no (5, Insightful)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865617)

I hate articles like this. The reader should not be blaming a single food as a CAUSE for obesity. The cause is that the consumer should not be eating large quantities of anything. Personally if anything is to blame then its the consumer for not getting off their ass and actually preparing food, going for a bike ride, or doing some running. Simple exercise like washing up has now been replaced with a dish washer, we mow lawns with electric/petrol mowers, and we don't even write letters by hand either, soon voice recognition will replace keyboard work. When will the world learn that as physical creatures we depend on a good, fresh diet and plenty of exercise.

Re:um no (1)

robcfg (1005359) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865817)

I agree with you in that we should be doing more exercise and not eating too much, but if you take a look to the ingredients of almost any food, they all have added sugar. Meat has sugar, Bread has sugar, things that already have sugar have several kinds of sugar in large quantities.... That makes our food today pretty more energetic, so the same quantity of food delivers more energy to the body that is stored as fat. And you cannot spend unlimited hours doing exercise, so there's a problem with the amount of sugar in our food.

Re:um no (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865909)

The article is not blaming a single food for being *the* cause for obesity, or even *a* cause of obesity and it doesn't ask the reader to blame a single food. HFCS, salt, and trans-fats are not foods, they are ingredients.

What the article is saying is that the inclusion of a single ingredient in so many food items adversely affects many people even if they do exercise and do not eat "too much". How many people try to do the right thing by preparing a fresh salad and then lose the benefit of that by using a prepared salad dressing made with HFCS instead of cane sugar?

Soft drinks are a good example. Look at the number of brands of bottled iced tea in a typical market. 99% of them are pre-sweetened and I doubt that any of them use pure cane. It's all HFCS. Maybe we would see widespread weight loss if they went back to cane and/or sold more unsweetened products and let the consumer add a sweetener of choice.

I wasn't aware that fructose is metabolized so differently than sucrose. It's something that I'll start paying attention to. I will not start preparing all of the food I eat. I don't have the time, and even if I did, I'd still have to know which ingredients to use and which ones to avoid.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with prepared foods any more than I believe that all fat people can be called lazy or gluttonous.

Fructose comprises of table sugar and corn syrup? (2, Funny)

barwasp (1116567) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865619)

WTF

Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of high-fructose corn syrup,...
The one who wrote that must be high on sugar.
Fructoses are simple monosaccharides. I don't remember them having corn-atoms

Re:Fructose comprises of table sugar and corn syru (3, Informative)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865669)

No, you just need an English lesson.

When A comprises B, it means A is within B, whether it is in whole or in part.
When A IS comprised OF B, it means B is within A, whether it is in whole or in part.

Consider another verb for a simpler example:
Baked dough makes cookies.
Cookies are made of baked dough.

Re:Fructose comprises of table sugar and corn syru (1)

barwasp (1116567) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865843)

*Blush*, Amazing & Thanks, I'll immediately downgrade my English to "good".

Honestly, before posting I did check couple of the examples given in Webster's web dictionary.

Comprise 1 : to include especially within a particular scope... 2 : to be made up of ... 3 : compose, constitute..
Also, I didn't find an equivalent word from my native language's vocabulary; at least not finding a word that would work that cleverly to both directions. But Yes, today's score English language 1 - me 0.

But hold your horses, fat lady - I have not started to sing yet

Re:Fructose comprises of table sugar and corn syru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865671)

You appear to have reading comprehension problems.

Table sugar is comprised of 50% fructose (and 50% glucose, which is all equivalent to 100% sucrose)
HFCS has varying levels of fructose/glucose, and can be up to 90% fructose and 10% glucose.

HTH HAND

Re:Fructose comprises of table sugar and corn syru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865703)

They said, "Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of high-fructose corn syrup,..."
You say, "Fructose comprises of table sugar and corn syrup?"
I say, "Lysdexics Untie!"

Personal experience... (3, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865653)

Having been thin most all my life but finding I had high cholesterol, I was prescribed a popular anti-cholesterol medicine. I began to gain weight passing up what is normal for my height. But my doctor and chiropractor wanted me to lose weight, just 10 pounds. I found out about HFCS and eliminated it from my diet and within a few months lost 30 lbs.
And all I did was remove HFCS from my diet.

I suspect since the anti-cholesterol medicine has an effect on the liver, and apparently HFCS is mostly processed by the Liver, has something to do with my weight gain once on the meds.

Now this article suggest other sugars also contribute. I suppose I need to further reduce my sugar intake.

But here is a HFCS tip: Bread! I would buy bread that didn't have HFCS in it and git used to which brand I'd buy. Then I discovered that all the bread I was buying had the ingredients changed to include HFCS. And this I discovered after the cola industry said they would stop selling their HFCS drinks at schools. I guess the HFCS industry simply shifted what they include it in. So the school kids still get it????

Nasty corn industry!!

Seems to me the corn industry needs to be heavily taxed where teh tax is used for health care..... like cigarettes..

Re:Personal experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865911)

I found out about HFCS and eliminated it from my diet and within a few months lost 30 lbs.
And all I did was remove HFCS from my diet.


Perhaps what you did was remove *products containing* high fructose corn syrup from your diet, i.e. eliminated most junk food. That would do it.

health food in Europe (1)

crashedzeppelin (952161) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865657)

Why is fructose is considered to cause obesity in America and to be a [open2.net] health [manoir.com] food [fruisana.com] in Europe? Might-the-glucose-syrup-be-the-problem?

Re:health food in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865779)

Because we Europeans are nucking futters about anything that comes from the United States and gobble it up without asking. And then comes along this "exotic" sugar that's a lot sweeter, "oh it must be so good because you don't have to eat as much to get the same sweetness!".

Please.

And for the "sucrose is the most evil" team... (1)

gjh (231652) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865687)

I tend to have more sympathy with this guy who asserts that the sucrose packaging of fructose is the most evil. Hope this adds interesting info. Please ignore the fact that the extract is hosted by "Nexus", who do have some rather wild ideas of their own!

SugarBlues [nexusmagazine.com]

In 1957, Dr William Coda Martin tried to answer the question: When is a food a food and when is it a poison? His working definition of "poison" was: "Medically: Any substance applied to the body, ingested or developed within the body, which causes or may cause disease. Physically: Any substance which inhibits the activity of a catalyst which is a minor substance, chemical or enzyme that activates a reaction."1 The dictionary gives an even broader definition for "poison": "to exert a harmful influence on, or to pervert".

Dr Martin classified refined sugar as a poison because it has been depleted of its life forces, vitamins and minerals. "What is left consists of pure, refined carbohydrates. The body cannot utilize this refined starch and carbohydrate unless the depleted proteins, vitamins and minerals are present. Nature supplies these elements in each plant in quantities sufficient to metabolize the carbohydrate in that particular plant. There is no excess for other added carbohydrates. Incomplete carbohydrate metabolism results in the formation of 'toxic metabolite' such as pyruvic acid and abnormal sugars containing five carbon atoms. Pyruvic acid accumulates in the brain and nervous system and the abnormal sugars in the red blood cells. These toxic metabolites interfere with the respiration of the cells. They cannot get sufficient oxygen to survive and function normally. In time, some of the cells die. This interferes with the function of a part of the body and is the beginning of degenerative disease."2

William Dufty © 1975
Extracted/edited from his book Sugar Blues
First published by Chilton Book Co. Padnor, PA, USA
Currently published by Warner Books, USA.

No HFCS (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865709)

I don't drink anything these days with HFCS in it. I mainly drink unsweetened iced tea, with some water and diet sodas for the hell of it. Actually, I don't drink any drinks with calories, even things sweetened with real sugar. It's the easiest way to cut calories out of your life.

Of course, I've also put on 10 pounds in the last four months, but I think that has to do more with moving to a town where I sit around all day, rather than going to Tae Kwon Do for one to three hours a day, four to six days a week.

Really? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865713)

Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of high-fructose corn syrup, both ingredients found in copious quantity in most American prepared foods

Yea, but practically 90% things I see in the store HFCS and not Sugar.

Yay for Corn subsidies eh, making us all fat and all.

What is with High Fructose Corn Syrup? (3, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865727)

Everytime I travel to the US and look at the ingredients its there on the side of the can every single time. Over in europe we use this amazing new invention called "sugar" instead.

So its not quite true to say that America are shipping the crap that is High Fructose Corn Syrup on the rest of the world, its actually that AMERICAN companies are using that on AMERICANS and using more natural ingredients outside of the US. This appears to be due to costs (its cheaper to use HFCS in the US, as sugar imports are penalised) meaning that the world's richest economy is using the cheapest and crappiest ingredients.

Good god, another silver bullet solution! (1, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865759)

Are you honestly telling me that if I eat all burgers and fries (supersized!) in the world, BUT pass on the sugar water, I'll be thin?

I hate "silver bullet" articles.

Fructose has been known to be not diabetic friendly for ages now. Where's the news?

One way or another, fructose is but one of the reasons for obesity. There are plenty of ways to get obese and, yes, shockingly, the most common ones include eating all sorts of calorie rich food without giving your body a way to expend those calories (the other include illnesses messing with the ability of the body to metabolize properly).

You know the laws of thermodynamics. Energy doesn't come from nothing (much to Steorn's [steorn.com] shock), and doesn't become nothing.

People prefer there was a simple way they could eat pizzas and coke all day long and sit on their asses, and just flip a switch, and it's all gone!

I.... (2, Funny)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865777)

... am the great cornholio! I must obey my bumholio!

kerplunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865785)

both my cell phone provider (cingular, the 'new' att), & key bank websites have been down re: account access, since last night. the joys of corepirate nazi payper liesense softwar gangster billyonerrors boxes? sure makes the phone co. & the bank look lame/like hostages. US customers? well who gives a fud?

Well that's some groundbreaking news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19865841)

Sugar per se doesn't make one fat. An excess in energy intake makes one fat - energy is energy, be it of low or high glycemic index; you can gain fat from eating apples and bananas just as you can from BigMac's. The americas just so happen to be very keen on high energy foods, and their food industry commonly thinks they can replace the high GI sugar with low GI fructose to dampen the effect.

/ a dietist and nutrition scholar

My Experience (1)

jpatters (883) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865845)

I gave up HFCS and since last November I have lost about 70 pounds.

blame anything but ourselves (0, Troll)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865857)

So the "culprit" is an inanimate chemical?

So it's because of this sugar that people are fat. Not that they eat too much.

Isn't it about time the population at large (pun intended) got a grip and instead of looking for the cause in something they can shift the blame onto, started examining their own behaviour?

Re:blame anything but ourselves (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865913)

While it may be entertaining to make fun of those "weak-willed gluttons", there are genetic factors that can make it very difficult for some people to lose weight. Would you make fun of a diabetic for not being able to regulate their blood sugar level without insulin?

up to 140% (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865877)

Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% high fructose.

That's up to 140% of itself ;-) Better than our athletes who sometimes give 110% of themselves !

Awesome report (3, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#19865879)

This is really interesting. Two questions for anyone with knowledge.


1. Lustig says:

Well it's glycaemic index plus fibre. Fibre turns any food into a low glycaemic load food. In fact we are supposed to eat our carbohydrate with fibre, that's the key. Processed wheat is white, when you go out into the field it's brown but by the time it gets to your bakery it's white. What happened? Well the bran was stripped off, well the bran is the good part, the bran is what we're supposed to be eating.

So if we eat significant fiber with everything we ingest does everything become low GI? Or what? This will definitely make me eat French bread (if that has bran?) and no more white bread (which I have known is a "slab of sugar" but didn't really use that knowledge). And what is a compact source of fiber? I doubt you could drink a cola with HFCS and neutralize its evil with a graham cracker (if that has bran in it?) but what's the score there?


2. The experiment in which a drug was administered to children whose brains could not detect leptin resulted in the kids spontaneously working out, doing sports, eliminating soda from their diet, etc. I'd like to know what the kids thought / felt during the study, and want to know if we can "fool" ourselves into doing the same kind of activities and getting a similar effect, in effect bootstrapping a similar kind of health benefit without taking the drug Octreotide. (and what is that drug, sounds pretty strong!)


3. Extremely refreshing and seemingly sensible comments about why it is important to exercise. This has got to be massively important for geeks. Personally I had an obese father who as a doctor unfortunately must have been an ultrageek since he didn't want to do any sports that could hurt his hands (since he couldn't do surgery). He got diabetes. I've been heavy (not astoundingly, but overweight) since I was little and he encouraged me to sit in my room and play with my Apple II all summer I remember well, and now after he got diabetes and bypasses he said "turns out I was wrong, exercise is important!" I coulda killed him!


So anyway this is quite important and felt like a revelation: While calories are one thing I thought exercise was basically to boost the metabolism to burn food faster. Well this article says exercise increases skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity (so less insulin is made so less blood sugar is shunted into fat), lowers cortisol (which is a "megastress hormone" that the article says triggers deposition of bad fat, and finally detoxifies fructose.

These are all awesomely understandable reasons why you gotta exercise and at least to me at this moment it makes me want to throw this glass of diet cola (who cares! anything unhealthy!) off the table and never look a piece of white bread in the face again. Now we need some "best practices" or programming style guides that include exercise with this info in it, of course optimized for maximum concentration and efficiency with minimum weight gain.

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