— A new study by University of Southern California (USC) and University of Oxford researchers indicates that large amounts of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in national food supplies across the world may be one explanation for the rising global epidemic of type 2 diabetes and resulting higher health care costs.
The study reports that countries that use HFCS in their food supply had a 20 percent higher prevalence of diabetes than countries that did not use HFCS. Fructose and glucose are both found in ordinary sugar (sucrose) in equal amounts, but HFCS has a greater proportion of fructose. The higher fructose content makes HFCS sweeter and provides processed foods with greater stability and better appearance because of the more consistent browning color when foods made with higher fructose are baked. The study notes the difficulty in determining the actual amount of fructose in foods and beverages made with HFCS because of "a lack of industry disclosure on food labels.
To explain the varying degrees of HFCS consumption in the European Union, the researchers note that trade and agricultural policies set quotas for HFCS production, and while some countries, such as Sweden and the U.
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