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Old 09-14-2008, 11:51 PM   #10
Ryan Whipple
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Tuscon  AZ
Posts: 686
Re: A case for high fructose corn syrup

Brandon:

Here are my thoughts and objections to the advertising.

1. All information presented seems to be factually correct.

2. This factually correct information is presented in ways which suggest faulty conclusions.

3. This direct influence through indirect lies interferes with the average consumer's ability to make good choices.

4. Although a consumer is ultimately responsible for his own fate, I think advertisers get away with too much dishonesty. In my never-quite-so-humble-opinion, I think certain claims are breaches of corporate ethical obligations.

5. Consider one of the messages that flashes HUGE on the banner: "HFCS has No Artificial Ingredients". I want to relate to you something a friend of mine said the other day, "But it has to be healthy Ryan, it's organic and it has all-natural ingredients!" Advertisers have managed to create two labels, natural and organic, and connect them to healthy eating in the mind of consumers. Refer back to point 4.

6. The article states that there is no reason to look for single ingredients to blame for obesity. And they are, to an extent, right. However, if we lump all types of sugar into one pot, than yes, we can point to a huge reason for obesity. Sugar, whether as HFSC or as any other sugar placed in sweetened foods, affects the hormonal balance in the body drastically. To be sure, starches are almost as bad, but sugar is definately a single, unhealthy ingredient and can be fairly condemned as such. The article is obviously meant to convey that HFSC is no *worse* than regular sugar, but the implication given is that even treating sugars as a single-ingredient evil is wrong. Again, refer to point 4.

7. The reference made to fat being more calorie-dense per gram is misleading. Fat is hormonally nuetral and, unless you have a very odd diet, much harder to consume in huge quantities than sugar. Few kids are downing barrels of almonds or taking shots of olive oil, but you can bet they're having multiple refills on their fountain drinks while chowing down pizza on a regular basis. Even though fat is more carb-dense, I am certain that in most any pizza/pasta/rice+soda dish, the vast majority of calories, (and obviously, the cause of insulin spikes), is the carbohydrates, not the fat. The off-handed, unexplained comment about caloric density is factually correct, but deliberately misleading. Once again, my 4th point.


8. The articles constantly state that "sugars are ok in moderation." I am going to say this is *possibly* factual, but not in any sense of the word recognizable to a consumer. As a strict Zoner experimenting with exactly what works and what doesn't, I am aware of everything I eat. When I subbed in corn for grean beans (high-density carbs for low), I starved. One chocolate mint would replace one block of my beloved, hunger-inhibiting veggies, and so every night I leave them alone on he counter. In a 12 oz Coke, there are 40g of sugar: effectively 1/3rd of my daily Zone requirements of carbs. So drinking a Coke within the context of a balanced diet would leave me starving all day long. To include a Coke as part of a balanced daily diet would leave me terribly hungry on the day I had even one. Making it a habit would leave me malnourished.

*SO*, yes it is possible to have sugar in moderation. That will be me in the future when I'm having a chocolate mint before bed when I relax my diet experiment. However, try to sell that as "moderation" to any American consumer who currently drinks soda. I doubt they would label that as anything short of extreme. So yes, I think this claim is again, *possibly* factual, but inherently misleading based upon the understandings of the readers.

9. In summary, I agree the industry is protecting its interests in stating that they are at least no worse than other sugars. However, they do so in a misleading way which will not benefit the average, under-educated, sadly-misguided general public.
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