Home > Food > General Nutrition > Food Additives > Sickly Sweet: The Truth Behind High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Sickly Sweet: The Truth Behind High-Fructose Corn Syrup

What Do We Know for Sure?

In an interview for CBS News, Margot G. Wootan, director of Nutritional Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest said that the tagline for HFCS should be, "It's just as bad as regular sugar." What people need to be concerned about, she says, is the consumption of huge amounts of sugar, in any form. But because it's so ubiquitous, it's difficult to avoid consuming HFCS.

According to a commentary in the April 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the consumption of HFCS increased over 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990. The authors state that HFCS represents more than 40 percent of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages, and is the sole caloric sweetener in the most popular soft drinks in the United States. As Americans consume large quantities of HFCS in the form of soft drinks, their waistlines expand in direct proportion to the size and number of soft drinks they consume. Nutritional studies performed at the Harvard School of Public Health conclude that individuals who drink more than one sweetened beverage per day substantially increase their risk of gaining weight and developing diabetes.

"It is not uncommon for teenagers to receive 500 to 1,000 calories per day from sugar-sweetened drinks," says David Ludwig, Director of the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children's Hospital Boston. "These drinks may be easy to over-consume, because calories in liquid form seem to be less satiating, or less filling, than calories in solid form." (Children's Hospital news release)

How to Avoid HFCS

The only way to know whether a product contains HFCS is to read the label. If high-fructose corn syrup is listed first or is high on the list of ingredients, don't eat or drink it. Don't buy highly processed foods – the more you stick to fresh whole foods, the less HFCS you will consume.

Try to eliminate soft drinks from your family's diet; drink more water instead. Buy 100% fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks – even better, choose fresh fruit over fruit juices. And if you buy canned fruit, make sure that it has been canned in its own juices rather than heavy syrup.



10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks