Sample Healthcare Paper on High-Fructose Corn Syrup
A study done by Bray et al. showed that the intake of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages might be contributing to the obesity epidemic. The researchers used data from the US Department of Agriculture to analyze trends in food consumption. The findings indicated that the intake of high-fructose corn syrup increased by 1000% from 1970 to 1990. High-fructose corn syrup now makes up to 40 percent of sweeteners used in beverages and foods (Bray et al. 537). The study estimated that on average most Americans consume 132 kcal of high-fructose corn syrup (Bray et al. 540). Furthermore, the researchers observed that the increase in the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup reflects the rapid spread of the obesity epidemic. The metabolism of fructose in the body is different from that of glucose. It takes place in the liver through the process of ‘de novo lipogenesis’. Moreover, fructose does not make the body secrete insulin or increase leptin production like glucose (Bray et al. 538).
One future public measure that can be used to address the obesity problem is lowering the amount of high-fructose corn syrup used in soft drinks. If the public demand sweetened drinks, then artificial sweeteners should be used instead of corn syrup. Evidence is increasingly indicating that the intake of soft drinks is one of the factors that have significantly contributed to increased obesity (Bray et al. 539). In addition, the portions and sizes of food and beverages with high-fructose corn syrup have gone up, and this means that people are taking more corn syrup and fructose. If high-fructose corn syrup is acting as an agent that increases the prevalence of obesity, then reducing the intake may assist in lowering the epidemic (Bray et al. 542).
Bray, George A., Samara Joy Nielsen, and Barry M. Popkin. “Consumption of High-Fructose Corn Syrup in Beverages May Play a Role in the Epidemic of Obesity.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 79, no. 4, 2004, pp. 537-43, ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/4/537.full. Accessed 23 May 2017.