News Releases & Statements
American Medical Association Affirms High Fructose Corn Syrup Not a Unique Contributor to Obesity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2008
AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AFFIRMS HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP NOT A UNIQUE CONTRIBUTOR TO OBESITY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Medical Association issued a statement at its annual meeting Tuesday saying that high fructose corn syrup is not a unique contributor to obesity – an important affirmation that undermines the inaccurate claims of critics of this sweetener. The AMA said it reached its conclusion after studying current research.
The AMA statement said “there is insufficient evidence to restrict the use of high fructose corn syrup or label products that contain it with a warning.” The statement was made at AMA’s annual policy-making meeting in Chicago.
Dr. Maureen Storey, senior vice president of science policy at the American Beverage Association, praised the AMA for bringing science to the forefront on the issue of caloric sweeteners and welcomed its call for even further research.
“The AMA statement will hopefully put to rest the unfounded claims by activists that HFCS affects people in a unique way and thus should be treated in a unique way,” Dr. Storey said. “Consumers have been misled for too long. HFCS affects consumers no differently than other caloric sweeteners in foods.”
Dr. Storey said that the science continues to underscore the importance of balancing calories consumed with calories burned through exercise and physical activity.
“While obesity is a serious issue, the science affirms that all calories count, regardless of the source.” she said. “In fact, a peer-reviewed study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) analyzed 12 recent studies and indicated no link between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adolescents.” Dr. Storey is a co-author of the AJCN study.
HFCS is a common liquid sweetener comprised of glucose and fructose and is found in many common foods and beverages. The science shows that it is processed in the body in a manner similar to table sugar. Unfortunately, some activists have tried to portray HFCS inaccurately. The AMA study helps to put science before sensationalism.
The American Beverage Association also welcomed the AMA’s call for more research on all sweeteners, confident that further study will continue to reach the same conclusion as past research – all calories count.
“No one food, beverage or ingredient is responsible for obesity – regardless of what some critics may claim,” said Dr. Storey. “All beverages, including those sweetened with HFCS, can play a role in a healthy and balanced lifestyle when consumed in moderation and combined with regular physical activity.”
Dr. Storey is former director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy and nutrition researcher.
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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.