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Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Lurking in Your Favorite Foods? 

Americans consume a staggering amount of the now ubiquitous sweetener high fructose corn syrup. In fact, studies indicate that the average consumer dines on 12 teaspoons per day with so-called “high consumers” capping out at 22 daily teaspoons. This means that an American consumes between 38 and 69 pounds of HFCS every year. It is no wonder that research into the potential drawbacks of this sugar alternative are at the forefront of consumer-driven science.

What is HFCS?

In order to understand the health implications, it is necessary to first grasp exactly what this sweetening agent is. The recipe calls for corn to be milled into corn starch then transformed into glucose syrup. Specific enzymes, notably glucoamylase and glucose isomerase, can then be used to break down the long chains of sugar that comprise traditional corn syrup and (Read More....)

U.S. Obesity Rates

Obesity rates in the United States are rising – there’s no question about that – and for years have been higher than other countries.  Latest statistics show that over 35% of American adults are obese and almost 20% of American children are obese.  Mexico and the United Kingdom are a distant second – closer to 25% of adults are obese in both countries – and Japan, with a lowly 3.2%, is number 28 on the list.  The weighted average of the top 28 states is over 14%, but still far lower than the United States average.

On average in the U.S., minorities seem to have higher rates of obesity, with the exception of Asians, who were significantly lower than all other people groups.  White Americans show lower obesity rates than all other groups except Asians.  Another trend indicates that education and poverty levels seem to have an impact on obesity.  Adults who make less than $15,000 a year have obesity rates of about 10% higher than adults who make over $50,000 in the United States.  Adults who failed to graduate high school have obesity rates of 12% higher than adults who graduated college.

State by state, results tend to vary, with a higher prevalence of obesity in the south and Midwest and lower obesity rates in the coastal areas.  Colorado has been the state with the lowest obesity (Read More....)