HFCS as a Factor to Obesity Prevalence

HFCS as a Factor to Obesity Prevalence


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Since 1970s High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has been used in abundance but it’s recently that the consumers have realized that they are contained in many groceries in the stores after about 30 years of use (Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo, 2012 pg 1). HFCS has spawned a great deal of controversy among professionalisms of science and also nutritionists in trying to determine whether indeed its HFCS is the major contributing factor to obesity. As per to my research there are many facts that I have analyzed to support the fact that indeed HFCS has played a major role as a contributing factor to obesity (Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo, 2012 pg 1).

First and foremost, the American Heart Association has come to establish that obesity is mainly as a result of foods that contain added sugars such carbohydrates and HFCS. HFCS in particular was discovered in Japan and was found to contain 55% fructose and 45% glucose. This posses a big danger to the health of people with the additional 5% of fructose as compared to table sugar that contains 50% fructose and 50% glucose. In America presently from research conducted in laboratories it was found that all sugar-sweetened soft drinks use HFCS. Also baked food, cereals, jam, ketchup and some dairy products contain HFCS (Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo, 2012 pg 2). .

Secondly, though HFCS is not only to blame, recent studies have risen concerns the rise of obesity in most countries that are not USA and do not use this food is due to fructose moiety of both fructose and glucose(Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo, 2012 pg 6). It is argued from research that was aimed in showing effects of short term energy regulating hormones when comparing a fructose and glucose model. It was ascertained that neither fructose nor glucose is available alone in ordinary food. Therefore, it has been argued that differences in hepatic metabolism between fructose and glucose may stimulate increased caloric consumption. This is because the way our body processes HFCS is different from those of naturally occurring sugars such as cane and beet. Certain hormones that normally help us feel full and therefore decrease appetite and decrease our body weights are changed. HFCS therefore increases our appetite by altering hormones. This has therefore posed a great danger of weight gain and obesity.

Thirdly, from the research carried out by Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo in page 6, they stated that, “The major finding of this prospective study is that typical population intake levels of added sugars prescribed at the level to deliver the 25th and 50th percentile population levels of fructose consumption does not prevent weight loss and associated improvements in body composition when prescribed in the context of a well designed and supervised weight loss program.” To argue about this statement they conducted a research based on low fat milk that do not contain levels of HFCS as can be seen from the 25th and 50th percentile, while HFCS contains more than the 50th percentile presumably 55th percentile. Also, one of the major drawbacks of the research is that it was conducted for only 12 weeks and did not include children, adolescents and aged people above 60 years. This gets the report a major setback since many of those people used in the research are a working population and do a lot of physical activity (Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo, 2012 pg 6).

Also, the most to prove that research was not conducted very well is the inclusion of 45 minutes of walking. Physical activity has been proved to lead to weight loss hence it may have hidden the fact that HFCS would result to obesity. Also this research conducted in order to show that HFCS had 78 % of the people used to be women (Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo, 2012 pg 8).

. This may limit the use of these data since the are gender influences due to responses to fructose and young women are said to be more resistant to fructose induced hypertriglyceridemia than males and hyperinsulinemic women are know to be more liable. More so, plasma leptins shows sexual dimorphism with higher concentrations in women as androgens have a suppressive effect on leptin secretion (Lowndes, Kawiecki & Pardo, 2012 pg 8).


Fourthly, some epidemiologic studies have reported an increase in energy intake in various population groups related to increased sugar sweetened beverage consumption. However, evidence about a potential positive relationship between sugars sweetened beverage consumption and obesity is varying. Because of the metabolic Mother Nature of overweight and obesity and the complexity of the western diet, it is unlikely that a single food or food group is the primary cause. Randomized, clinical feeding trials have shown uneven results from challenging the effects of added sugar on weight gain. Differences in study instruments and approaches, population studied and study strategy may have contributed to these inconsistent outcomes.

Lastly, HFCS has been a major contribution to obesity due to the cost of beverages that were processed using natural fruits. This is because these drinks are expensive and therefore a large population of the citizens of USA can only buy sweetened beverages using HCFS. In that case I can conclude that most prevalence of obesity is mainly due to the inability of ordinary people to purchase non sweetened beverages.

In conclusion, and by the above analysis of facts pertaining HFCS. I conclude by saying that HFCS has lead to widespread and prevalence of obesity in USA. And I would like to urge nutritionists to make more efforts in keeping many people aware or by giving options that could help save many lives from epidemics such as diabetes or heart diseases. Though manufacturers prefer the syrup for the fact that it gives drinks a long shelf life, i think it would be best if they shun them and use alternative methods.


Lowndes, J., Kawiecki, D., Pardo, S., Nguyen, V., Melanson, K. J., Yu, Z., & Rippe, J. M. (2012). The effects of four hypocaloric diets containing different levels of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup on weight loss and related parameters. Nutrition Journal,11, 55.

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