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September 14, 2008

Sugar High

2_3 I was watching Project Runway last night when I was caught off guard by a seemingly innocent commercial. There was a man and a woman having a picnic, and she offers him a popsicle. He questions the ingredients- how it contains high fructose corn syrup and she instead rattles off how safe it really is. How safe high fructose corn syrup is? Is this a joke?

Apparently not. There is a new website called HFCSfacts.com where we are supposed to learn the "real truth" of high fructose corn syrup and its "benefits." Most of us learned a while back about the dangers of HFCS thanks to Dr. Oz on Oprah. HFCS is not natural. It is made through a very complicated process which involves- HELLO- corn! That is not natural sugar! Whether you choose to limit your intake or not, it has been proven to increase insulin, blood pressure, and triglycerides as well as do a lot more damage than we probably even know right now. The increase in high fructose corn syrup consumption has been popularly noted to also correlate to the increase in the epidemic of obesity.

I am extremely aware of the ingredients in the foods that I buy and I am definitely not perfect and love good ol' junk food once in a while, too. But I am also aware of just what certain ingredients do to the behavior of my children, as well as the migraines in my head.

Why there is a need for a campaign assuring us of the safety of high fructose corn syrup is what I really want to know. The commercials do mention "in moderation," but for a parent shopping at the grocery store for their family, just how much is in moderation? When it is one of the first ingredients in almost every breakfast, lunch, and dinner item as well as snacks and drinks... I believe that there should be an awareness and caution. Not a reassurance that it's just fine to keep serving up that Kool-Aid and snack with little to no nutritional value whatsoever.

I feel that the commercials are misleading. The person being asked why HFCS is so bad doesn't have the answer at the moment, but does that make it all right? I would hope that these days someone would decide to get informed on their own and find out the REAL facts.

And if anything, it's just all too creepy for me. Watch for yourself- here's the first and second ads out right now. You decide.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Stephanie blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing.

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