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Study: Countries that use HFCS have somewhat higher diabetes rates

A study by University of Southern California and University of Oxford researchers released today said that countries with large amounts of high-fructose corn syrup in their food supplies have a 20 percent higher prevalence of diabetes than countries that did not use HFCS, but the Corn Refiners Association called the study “flawed.”

Michael Goran

Michael Goran
The article, “High Fructose Corn Syrup and Diabetes Prevalence: A Global Perspective,” published in the journal Global Public Health, said that countries with higher use of HFCS had an average prevalence of Type 2 diabetes of 8 percent compared to 6.7 percent in countries not using HFCS.

The article proposes that this link is probably driven by higher amounts of fructose in foods and beverages made with HFCS than those made with sugar.

But the Corn Refiners Association, which represents the makers of HFCS, said that Michael Goran, the USC professor who is the lead author of the study, “fails to account for widespread agreement among scientists and medical doctors that HFCS and sucrose (table sugar) are nutritionally equivalent.”

Audrae Erickson

Audrae Erickson
“Even though Japan consumes more HFCS every year than Mexico, the prevalence rates of diabetes in Japan are about half of Mexico,” said Corn Refiners Association President Audrae Erickson. “This example alone shows that Dr. Goran’s hypothesis is totally flawed.”