New information by University of Southern California (USC) and University of Oxford researchers points that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) present in national food supplies across the globe may be one explanation for the rising global epidemic of being overweight and resulting higher health costs.
The study reports that countries that use HFCS into their food had a 20 % higher prevalence of diabetes than countries that did not use HFCS. The analysis also revealed that HFCS’s association with the “significantly increased prevalence of diabetes” occurred separate from total sugar intake and obesity levels.
The content, “High Fructose Corn Syrup and Diabetes Prevalence: A universal Perspective,” is published within the journal Global Public Health.
“HFCS appears to pose a critical public health problem with a global scale,” said principal study author Michael I. Goran, professor of preventive medicine, director on the Childhood Obesity Research Center and co-director with the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute with the Keck Medical school at USC. “The research increases an expanding body of scientific literature that indicates HFCS consumption may cause negative health consequences distinct from plus more deleterious than natural sugar.”
The paper reports that beyond 42 countries studied, the United States provides the highest for each person use of HFCS at a rate of 25 kilograms, or 55 pounds, each year. The other highest is Hungary, with the annual rate of 16 kilograms, or 46 pounds, of each person. Canada, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Argentina, Korea, Japan and Mexico will also be relatively high HFCS consumers. Germany, Poland, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, Finland and Serbia are one of several lowest HFCS consumers. Countries with for each person consumption of lower than 0.5 kilogram per annum include Australia, China, Denmark, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, great britain, and Uruguay.
Countries with higher usage of HFCS had a normal prevalence of diabetes type 2 of 8 percent in comparison to 6.7 percent in countries not using HFCS.
“This research suggests that HFCS can enhance the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is just about the most common causes of death these days,” said study co-author Professor Stanley Ulijaszek, director on the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford.
This article proposes until this link might be driven by higher levels of fructose in foods and beverages created using HFCS. Fructose and glucose are both found in ordinary sugar (sucrose) in equal amounts, but HFCS includes a greater proportion of fructose. The higher fructose content makes HFCS sweeter and offers processed foods with greater stability and better appearance due to more consistent browning color when foods made with higher fructose are baked.
In the previous related study, the authors found how the fructose content in most U.S.-produced sodas, especially the most in-demand, was ready twenty percent over expected, suggesting that some manufacturers could be using HFCS with more fructose than previously estimated. Such differences could “potentially be driving up fructose consumption in countries designed to use HFCS,” the researchers said. The learning notes the problem in determining the actual number of fructose in foods and beverages made with HFCS as a result of “a reduction in industry disclosure on food labels.”
Growing evidence reveals the body metabolizes fructose differently from glucose. Among other things, fructose metabolism occurs independently of insulin, primarily in the liver where it usually is readily changed into fat, which likely plays a role in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a disorder rising in Hispanics within the U.S. and Mexico.
“Most populations provide an almost insatiable appetite for sweet foods, but regrettably our metabolism has not evolved sufficiently to be able to process the fructose from high fructose corn syrup within the quantities that a number of people are consuming it,” said Ulijaszek. “Even though this syrup can be obtained from quite a few processed foods and drinks, this varies enormously from country to country.”
The U.S. would be the single largest consumer of high fructose corn syrup. From the late 1990s HFCS composed 40 % of caloric sweeteners and was the predominant sweetener in soda pops bought in the U.S. However, since 2008, exports of HFCS from the U.S. to Mexico increased “exponentially” after trade restrictions were removed, they said. They involve updated public health strategies requiring better labeling of fructose and HFCS content in processed foods.
To clarify the varying degrees of HFCS consumption in the European, the study be aware that trade and agricultural policies set quotas for HFCS production, even though some countries, such as Sweden and the U.K., do not take on their assigned quotas, other countries, like Hungary and Slovakia, have the ability to purchase extra quotas from countries that don’t accept them. The findings with the paper thus have important implications for global trade policies which could affect public health.
Read full article here.
Zosia Kmietowicz. “Countries that use large amounts of high fructose corn syrup have higher rates of type 2 diabetes” BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7994
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