MSNBC reports that the Corn Refiners Association has made a bid to the Food and Drug Administration to rename high fructose corn syrup to the simpler moniker “corn sugar.” The move comes as consumption of high fructose corn syrup is at a 20-year low as consumers are concerned about obesity. Although there is no scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup causes obesity, corn growers are worried that a misperception exists and a name change can help jumpstart sales. An official name change can take up to two years.
Many studies have been done on the effect of high fructose corn syrup on the body. As with any study that is critical of the food additive the Corn Refiners Association is there to rebut. In July one study suggested that higher intakes of fructose may cause high blood pressure according to WebMD. People who consumed more fructose were at a higher risk for blood pressure problems. The Corn Refiners stated that the survey from which the study was sampled did not list what the source of the added fructose could be.
The Mayo Clinic takes a different approach. Moderation of such sugar intake is the key. High fructose corn syrup itself shouldn’t be to blame for obesity but the fact that Americans get so much of it in their diets should be a cause for concern. Eating a well-balanced diet every day should alleviate some of the misconception.
In an article published in Diabetes Health, Dr. Christopher R. Mohr warns that “you need to know what high fructose corn syrup is and how to identify it in products.” Anyone with diabetes can tell you that sugar management is vital to their survival. Can high fructose corn syrup add to diabetes? Regular sugar does the same thing according to Dr. Mohr. All forms of sugar should be watched closely in the body and he does agree that food labels can be tricky when trying to determine what really is in our food.
From a marketing standpoint I can see why the Corn Refiners Association would want to change. On the other hand, corn growers have many outlets for their products including fuel grade ethanol and feed for livestock.
Perhaps the more money corn growers can make, the better, since many huge farms rely on the grain that has become a staple crop in America. A simple name change can clear up one misperception about high fructose corn syrup but the product will remain the same. Hopefully consumers won’t be fooled if they are trying to watch their sugar intake.
High fructose corn syrup or corn sugar is found in most of our processed foods. We can’t escape it. It’s here to stay. It will be up to consumers to educate themselves about what they are eating and what’s written on a food label to determine what’s best for them.
This article is for informational purposes only. Discuss any concerns you have about sugar intake and diet with your doctor or registered dietician.
MSNBC, WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and Diabetes Health all contributed information for this article.