So, the corn industry is seeking a new name for high-fructose corn syrup.  They want it to be called "corn sugar". They claim this change is intended to clarify confusion about whether corn syrup is a special kind of sugar. Consumers feel that corn syrup is an evil kind of sugar or that it's somehow not as natural as sugar, and the industry wants to clarify that, with hopes that demand will grow again and that producers of all kinds of stuff -- cookies, sodas, candies -- will start using corn syrup again.

 

Their position is understandable. Structurally speaking, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is very similar to sugar (sucrose), so it does make sense to call it "corn sugar".

And I actually think this renaming is a good thing. And I support it. You know why? Because the consumer is mistaken. The problem is not corn syrup. Nor cane or beet sugar. It's sugar in general.

The obesity epidemic in this country and in other countries (Brazil is set to surpass the US in 10 years as the leading country in obesity -- it's currently second) is because of sugars and refined carbs. And that includes a lot of things, not only HFCS. Things like honey, sugar, white flour are simple carbs with zero nutrients (other than their 4 calories per gram) whose main use in the body is to eventually be stored as fat. Before it turns into fat it causes ups and downs in the insulin level, which with lots of time and repeated stress on the pancreas leads to diabetes.

Heck, even some natural juices are mostly sugar, like apple juice and pineapple juice. These are used to sweeten drinks as well, but consumers don't notice them because labels say "apple juice" instead of sugar or HFCS. But they fill the same purpose, to sweeten. And people continue ingesting empty carbs not realizing it.

So, I do support this name change. Kill the false villain, the scapegoat and let people focus once again on sugar and other simple carbs.

The fat party in this country is not going away with this name change. And neither it was going away by consumers shunning HFCS in favor of cane sugar or other simple carbs. This will put all sugars back where they belong, with no scapegoat to blame: the bad carb category. Maybe America will start fighting the real culprits now. I can only hope.

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