Is HFCS the Devil’s Candy? (Part 4)

playing in the snow

So, we’ve been following the life story of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) over the last couple of years. In the fall of 2011, the activist group PennPIRG revealed that each American was being taxed $7.36 per year to subsidize corn farmers, which is not cool because most corn is made into HFCS.

On the other hand, each American was being taxed 11¢ per year to subsidize the farmers who grow apples and so forth. Relatively speaking, the amount of money being used to prop up the corn industry would buy 19 Twinkies, while the amount to help the growers of fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one-fourth of an apple.

The conclusion was that the government dishes out billions to subsidize the main ingredient of junk food, while letting the growers of fresh produce struggle. In other words, the structure that we depend on to protect us is promoting junk food, and therefore childhood obesity, in a major way.

Last time, Childhood Obesity News mentioned the interesting things that Dr. Mark Hyman learned from his friend Dr. Bruce Ames. For one thing, Americans are each eating about 140 pounds of sugar, both cane and corn, each year. That is an astonishing amount of sweetener, which is also a potent chemical with many effects on the body, and no good can come or it.

Dr. Hyman says:

When one 20 ounce HFCS sweetened soda, sports drink or tea has 17 teaspoons of sugar (and the average teenager often consumes two drinks a day) we are conducting a largely uncontrolled experiment on the human species. Our hunter gather ancestors consumed the equivalent of 20 teaspoons per year, not per day.

Last year, a crew of scientists from around the globe collaborated on a study that resulted in a report titled, “Opposing effects of fructokinase C and A isoforms on fructose-induced metabolic syndrome in mice,” which was published by an academic journal called Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study’s title is daunting, but a Medical News Today writer explained how fructose is metabolized into two different forms of the same enzyme:

Previous research has shown that fructose intake in added sugars such as sucrose and high fructose corn syrup is strongly linked to the epidemic rise in obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Fructose intake also causes features of metabolic syndrome in laboratory animals and humans. It is known to cause visceral (organ) fat accumulation and insulin resistance compared to starch based diets even when calories are kept even.

Basically, it’s all about metabolic syndrome or diabetes. Generally, Type 2 diabetes and obesity go together like ice cream and hot fudge sauce. One is often found in the company of the other. When obesity and incipient diabetes are both found in the same child, the prognosis is sad.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Consumer Activists Say US Government Is Promoting Obesity,” CBS Philly, 09/21/11
Source: “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You,”, 05/13/11
Source: “Insight Into How Fructose Causes Obesity And Other Illness,” Medical News Today, 02/29/12
Image by seeareelem (Chris Morgan).

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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