Not that long ago experts claimed a direct link between high-fructose corn syrup and obesity. Now it seems there is a good deal of controversy as to whether high-fructose corn syrup is a “cause” of obesity.
One columnist at the Mayo Clinic noted that research has shown that high-fructose corn syrup is chemically similar to table sugar. She notes that there remains controversy as to whether the body treats both sweeteners similarly or not.
At this time, there appears to be insufficient evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is any worse (or better) for you than sugar. Both can contribute to unwanted calories with very little nutrition.
It probably won’t surprise you that the manufacturers of both products (the Corn Refiners Association and the Sugar Association) are putting money into research and advertising because getting revenue from our sugar cravings is big money. If the Sugar Association can increase its share of the oh-so-sweet pie, it can mean big payoff. One source reported that in 2010 the Corn Refiners reported $27.3 million in revenue, while the Sugar Association had $2.4 million in revenue. The Sugar Association reported near doubling its revenue in 2011 to $4.2 million.
For all of us, the best advice is to keep consumption of all sugars minimized, particularly outside of the appropriate exercise and recovery windows.