Not really. Not so much. No. But that's what corn refiners want us to think.
When I say that high-fructose corn syrup is the devil and we should tax the hell out of it, it won't surprise my few, regular, dear readers. They know I also feel strongly about land development, off-road vehicles and feeding dogs from the table. When the all-powerful corn lobby sees this they should know my range, so to speak.
From the San Francisco Chronicle is this overly-balanced, heavily-edited treasure. Important information but you'd think King Corn was in the house by the way it was written. Read the whole thing for context, but here's the sicky-sweet nougat wedged between qualifiers in a long article that the corn lobby hopes you won't read.
Many point to high-fructose corn syrup as being largely responsible for the American obesity problem. Because it's cheaper than sugar, has a longer shelf life, makes food moister and protects against freezer burn, food manufacturers began using the sweetener in everything from baked goods and sauces to candy and soda starting in the late 1970s.
Not long afterward, Americans started gaining weight. But some believe that it's more likely that Americans eat too much processed foods and that high-fructose corn syrup is no worse than sugar, just used more frequently.
The sweetener has also been accused of contributing to the risk of diabetes. But scientists say the allegation is a bit misleading. There is a correlation between excess weight and diabetes, but weight gain can come from eating too much fat or other high-calorie foods. There is some research that suggests fructose might lead to leptin resistance, a feature of diabetes, which scientists are continuing to study.
Although the Corn Refiners Association has advertised high-fructose corn syrup as a natural product, doctors and scientists say it's not.