Since the early 1980s, the prevalence of overweight/obesity in the US population, as well as per capita consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), has increased. Although some public health researchers and administrators hypothesize that these 2 trends are directly related, current research published in the scientific literature does not support a cause-effect relationship between HFCS consumption and overweight/obesity rates. Some explanations for the popularity of these unsupported hypotheses may be due to confusion concerning the compositional differences, or lack thereof, between HFCS, sucrose, and other sweeteners. In addition, failure among individuals in the scientific community to distinguish between HFCS and "corn syrup" may exacerbate the confusion. Before any relationship between HFCS consumption and overweight/obesity can be examined, more information concerning current levels of HFCS in the food supply, as well as individual-level HFCS consumption, must be established.
What high fructose corn syrup does or doesn't do health-wise
Gayle L. Hein, BS, and Maureen L. Storey, PhD, Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy, University of Maryland-College Park, College Park, MD (previously at Center for Food and Nutrition Policy, Virginia Tech-National Capital Region, Alexandria, VA).
John S. White, PhD, White Technical Research, Argenta, IL.
David R. Lineback, PhD, University of Maryland/US Food and Drug Administration, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, College Park, MD.
Corresponding author: Maureen L. Storey, PhD, Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy, University of Maryland-College Park, 1122 Patapsco Building, College Park, MD 20742 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).