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Does High-Fructose Corn Syrup Cause Obesity?

High-fructose corn syrup has been speculated to be one of the causes of obesity and has become a major problem in recent years. Conflicting reports are abundant and many are still searching to reveal the epidemic's cause and the link between the two.

What Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup?

High-fructose corn syrup is essentially an artificial sugar substitute and preservative, made from converting the sucrose in corn syrup or starch into fructose. It has now become prevalent within most common supermarket foods, from obvious culprits like sodas, to bread and even ketchup. 

The Dangers of High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Critics point to the correlation between the increase of obesity rates and the increased use of high-fructose corn syrup in foods as a major indicator of its detrimental effects. High-fructose corn syrup has now permeated into almost everything we eat. This is due to the fact that it is cheap to produce, and extends the shelf life of most products. It has also been proven that our bodies break down high-fructose corn syrup in different ways than the type of sucrose found in typical table sugar. Indeed, our bodies break down high-fructose corn syrup through our liver, and this can lead to health problems such as fatty liver, and it has also been proven that the liver converts fructose into fat far easier than it does natural sucrose. This, of course, can lead to obesity. Furthermore, our bodies do not register the high intake of calories that are present in soda containing high-fructose corn syrup, and this often leads to a higher consumption of calories, and inevitably in some cases, obesity. 

HFCS: Not Directly Responsible for Obesity

While high-fructose corn syrup has been proven to have adverse effects on our metabolism and also our calorie intake, it is not the sole culprit of the obesity epidemic. The fact is that with high-fructose corn syrup present in the majority of processed foods, we must be careful with what we consume. Larger portions, cheaper products and the inevitable increased consumption of the substance can explain the increase of obesity rates, but it is not directly responsible. What we choose to consume, and how well we are informed of what we are consuming, is far more important. The reality is that high-fructose corn syrup is now an ever present substance within our foods and we must choose how much of it we consume.

Be Careful with the Products You Consume

The increase in consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, and the increase in obesity, are due to our nutritional choices. The more we consume such products as soda and other products high in HFCS, the greater our risk of obesity. Essentially, high-fructose corn syrup can cause obesity due to its prevalence in products that we as consumers are not often aware of, and also its intrinsic negative health effects. Therefore, we must be vigilant in our consumption, and be aware that those products containing HFCS may well be detrimental to us.

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