The issue of the bad effects of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been going on for some years now. Many health professionals and ordinary citizens have voiced out their concern about the cons of using HFCS as replacement for natural sugar as sweetener. A more pressing issue is the bad effects of HFCS to children.
One of the effects of HFCS that many claim to affect Americans, especially the children, is obesity. Yes, body fat is caused by ingesting more calories than one can burn. The problem is many manufacturers put more fructose than glucose into a lot of food products from sodas to supposedly healthy snack bars. While it surely is not the lone culprit in the obesity crisis, it contributes greatly to the situation because of its ever increasing amount found in foods.
Fructose is not processed by the body the same as glucose, where it is used up in every cell. Fructose is metabolized by the liver; therefore it does not stimulate the release of more insulin. Since the body cannot use this excess calories for energy, it is stored as fat. This difference in metabolism also affects the signal to the brain about being full; therefore a child tends to eat more compounding the effects of fructose on body weight.
The increased amount of sugar such as fructose in a lot of foods can also cause hyperactivity in children. A study in the University of South Carolina concluded that children become more restless and even destructive with more sugar. Another study conducted in Yale University suggests that a high amount of sugar in children’s diets may cause inattention.
There are many more research studies that show the cons of using corn syrup as substitute sweetener. The reason why manufacturers love it is that is cheaper than cane or beet sugar, which is imported from other countries. In the end, it is all up to parents to take charge of what their children are eating. Start by removing foods with high fructose corn syrup from their diet. However, prepare to see them in many food labels.
G.S. Lacdao is a freelancer who writes for Special Education Parents Action Community where you can find information about special education and share your stories with other members via the online forum.