Today is the first part of a topic that grew in length as I was writing until I decided to split it into two parts. This is my first try investigating some issue facing people in the world, something that you may have an opinion about. Feel free to share your thoughts and observations in the comments. Come back tomorrow for part 2 which includes an experiment you can do on your own.
A Growing Problem
|US Obesity and Overweight Rates|
There are two discussions involved here. One is whether HFCS is less healthy than other sweeteners, such as sugar. The other is whether the obesity problem in the United States is tied to increased use of sweeteners in general.
The Unhealthier Sugar?
To tackle the first, it helps to compare HFCS to sugar chemically. HFCS, a thick liquid made from corn, is a mixture of fructose and glucose molecules, usually in a 55%-45% ratio with more fructose. Sugar is sucrose, found in your grocery store as crystals of table sugar. Chemically, sucrose is a fructose molecule joined to a glucose molecule. These are broken apart in the stomach and small intestine and absorbed. So sugar breaks down to nearly the same half-half mix of fructose and glucose that you get from HFCS.