11月19日思‧英文討論會: High Fructose Corn Syrup is the Devil

思,英語討論會是我們工作室固定的聚會。這個討論會的特色之一是,我們所討論的主題比較不是大家會討論的題目。另一個特色之一是,我們的討論模式有一定的架構。這個架構幫助參與討論的人組織他們的思惟、表達他們的想法與意見,或者練習以比較從容的態度提問或回答問題,同時還能協助參與討論的人以不犀利的方式討論比較困難的題目。接下來幾次聚會的討論文章會張貼在部落格裡,我們希望大家知道我們究竟在討論些什麼,我們也希望大家知道我們如何進行討論。思,英語討論會從11/12星期五晚上七時三十分開始,一連十二週。很歡迎大家來嘗試一次討論會,或是一次就報名十二週

Discussion Question: Does what you eat make you fat?

Questions to Ponder:
1. Do you eat a lot of sugar?
2. Do you eat a lot of processed foods?
3. Do processed foods have some form of sugar in them?
4. Do all sugars have the same effect on the body? (cane sugar, fructose, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey)
5. Is sugar bad for you?
6. Are sugar substitutes bad for you? (saccharine, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame K)
7. Do you automatically get fat from not exercising?
8. Does exercising make you healthier?
9. Does exercising automatically make you thinner?
10. Why does the US government subsidize certain foods? Does the Taiwan government subsidize foods?

Choose a position:
Position A) ___. _________________________.
Position B) Yes. If you eat a lot of fat, it will make you fat.
Position C) Yes. If you eat a lot of sugar and processed foods, it will make you fat.
Position D) No. If you get the right amount of exercise, you can eat what you want.
Position E) It doesn’t matter. As long as you are happy, you should eat what you want and exercise how you want. Happy makes you healthy.
Position F) Yes and no. Being fat or not is a combination of your genetics, plus the food you ate growing up, plus how much exercise you had growing up, plus the exercise you get now, plus what you eat now.

Excerpt 1: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2010/03/well-well-well.html
Researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain.

"A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
…"Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests," said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. "When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."
…"In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.”
The average American's consumption of HFCS over the same time period has increased by "an alarming 12,250%." !!!

As I've mentioned in several previous threads, having a diabetic in the household has made me keenly aware of the ubiquity of HFCS. It's in everything. And it's in everything because corn is subsidized to the tune of billions of dollars in the US every year.
The OHNOES Obesity Crisis™, sponsored by the US Government. Which now, hilariously, demonizes fat people as lazy layabouts, after ensuring that virtually every processed food produced in America is rich with a government-subsidized product that promotes weight gain. Awesome.

Excerpt 2: http://www.motherlindas.com/HFCS_murky.htm
But there's another reason to avoid HFCS. Consumers may think that because it contains fructose--which they associate with fruit, which is a natural food--that it is healthier than sugar. A team of investigators at the USDA, led by Dr. Meira Field, has discovered that this just ain't so.
Sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose. When sugar is given to rats in high amounts, the rats develop multiple health problems, especially when the rats were deficient in certain nutrients, such as copper. The researchers wanted to know whether it was the fructose or the glucose that was causing the problems. So they repeated their studies with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose and one given high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had disastrous results. The male rats did not reach adulthood. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy--that means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded. They also had delayed testicular development. Dr. Field explains that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the growing animal interferes with collagen production. (Copper deficiency, by the way, is widespread in America.) In a nutshell, the little bodies of the rats just fell apart. The females were not so affected, but they were unable to produce live young.

Excerpt 3: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/
A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain. Posted March 22, 2010; 10:00 a.m. by Hilary Parker
A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. 

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

"Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests," said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. "When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."
A Princeton University research team, including (from left) undergraduate Elyse Powell, psychology professor Bart Hoebel, visiting research associate Nicole Avena and graduate student Miriam Bocarsly, has demonstrated that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup -- a sweetener found in many popular sodas -- gain significantly more weight than those with access to water sweetened with table sugar, even when they consume the same number of calories. The work may have important implications for understanding obesity trends in the United States. (Photo: Denise Applewhite) Photos for news media
In results published online Feb. 26 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, the researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reported on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity. 

The first study showed that male rats given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a standard diet of rat chow gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, or sucrose, in conjunction with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.

The second experiment -- the first long-term study of the effects of high-fructose corn syrup consumption on obesity in lab animals -- monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup over a period of six months. Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.

"These rats aren't just getting fat; they're demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides," said Princeton graduate student Miriam Bocarsly. "In humans, these same characteristics are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes." In addition to Hoebel and Bocarsly, the research team included Princeton undergraduate Elyse Powell and visiting research associate Nicole Avena, who was affiliated with Rockefeller University during the study and is now on the faculty at the University of Florida. The Princeton researchers note that they do not know yet why high-fructose corn syrup fed to rats in their study generated more triglycerides, and more body fat that resulted in obesity.
When male rats were given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a standard diet of rat chow, the animals gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, or sucrose, along with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas, including the orange soft drink shown here. (Photo: Denise Applewhite)
High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose are both compounds that contain the simple sugars fructose and glucose, but there at least two clear differences between them. First, sucrose is composed of equal amounts of the two simple sugars -- it is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose -- but the typical high-fructose corn syrup used in this study features a slightly imbalanced ratio, containing 55 percent fructose and 42 percent glucose. Larger sugar molecules called higher saccharides make up the remaining 3 percent of the sweetener. Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized. 

This creates a fascinating puzzle. The rats in the Princeton study became obese by drinking high-fructose corn syrup, but not by drinking sucrose. The critical differences in appetite, metabolism and gene expression that underlie this phenomenon are yet to be discovered, but may relate to the fact that excess fructose is being metabolized to produce fat, while glucose is largely being processed for energy or stored as a carbohydrate, called glycogen, in the liver and muscles. 

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year. 

"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic," Avena said. 

The new research complements previous work led by Hoebel and Avena demonstrating that sucrose can be addictive, having effects on the brain similar to some drugs of abuse. 

In the future, the team intends to explore how the animals respond to the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in conjunction with a high-fat diet -- the equivalent of a typical fast-food meal containing a hamburger, fries and soda -- and whether excessive high-fructose corn syrup consumption contributes to the diseases associated with obesity. Another step will be to study how fructose affects brain function in the control of appetite. 

The research was supported by the U.S. Public Health Service.

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