U.S. Obesity Epidemic Driven by High Fructose Corn Syrup
Obesity in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, (CDC) over the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. More than one third of US adults, 35.7%, and approximately 17% of children age 19 years and younger are obese.
The CDC defines obese as a person weighing over 200 pounds with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. The Body Mass Index is a proximal assessment tool for estimating human body fat based on individual’s weight and height. The BMI does not actually measure the person’s body fat, but is used as an overall assessment tool to gauge whether or not a person is underweight, proper weight, overweight or obese.
The food product most responsible for driving the obesity factor in the United States towards these levels is fructose, which is produced commercially in 3 distinctly different types.
Crystalline fructose is a high purity monosaccharide that is dried and ground. Sucrose, is a compound where one molecule of glucose is attached to one molecule of fructose, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a mixture of glucose and fructose as a monosaccharide.
High fructose corn syrup is in almost every product on the shelf at your local supermarket, or convenience store. It is used as a substitute for sugar, as well as a browning agent, and it is much cheaper to produce and refine than sugar itself.
It is in most all soft drinks on the market today, and it is hard to purchase any processed food of any kind today that does not have high fructose corn syrup as one of its ingredients.
A study at Yale University compared participants that were given high concentrations of either glucose or fructose in a drink, and the participants had before and after MRIs to create data for the study.
Results showed that the patients who drank the glucose liquid had reduced blood flow to the areas of the brain that are normally associated with appetite and reward processing. They also had higher levels of the hormones that contribute to satisfaction.
The patients who drank fructose drink did not exhibit the same qualities in brain activity as the patients who ingested the glucose, indicating that the fructose did not satisfy the brains urge to discontinue reading, and may have in fact advance the brains potential to over eat.
It would seem that all the different food additives, preservatives, sweeteners, flavorings and such might be creating problems for the human body.
Obesity is linked to type II diabetes, which in turn is linked to heart disease and risk of stroke.
Article by Jim Donahue