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Sugar: the latest godawful health scare

by | 14th, January 2013

PA 10687146 Sugar: the latest godawful health scare

IT has to be the Mail reporting this, doesn’t it? But here it is, the shocking news that UK cereals contain more sugar than US cereals.

Breakfast cereals sold in Britain contain as much as 30 per cent more sugar than the same products in the United States.

Cue wails, outrage, you must do more, you’re poisoning us you bastards etc.
All of which is really very silly indeed.
For the Americans are balming their obesity epidemic on something called high fructose corn syrup, HFCS. This is a sugar (yes, there are many types of sugar) made from boiling up corn, or maize. They have huge import duties on regular sugar so all of the food manufacturers over there use HFCS instead of regular sugar. And it’s exactly this HFCS that is being blamed for making people fat.
Not that you really want to believe these stories, but apparently we digest it differently and this makes us fat. Quite why this would be so when the fructose is the same sugar we get in fruit is unexplained: fruit is good for us, the same sugar not in fruit isn’t.
Over here in Europe we don’t really use HFCS. We use regular sugar instead. So, if it’s the HFCS causing the problems over there then we shouldn’t be having them over here.
However, there’s one more thing about this. HFCS is sweeter per gramme than regular sugar. Which is why the European cereals have higher sugar levels than the US. To make them taste the same you’ve got to use more sugar than HFCS.
Which leaves us in a bit of a bind really. We can use HFCS, thus have fewer calories, but they are the special sort of calories that make you blow up like an American porker. Or we can use regular sugar which doesn’t have the special calories but does have more of them.
And the reason this is all about money? Because the Septics subsidise HFCS and we Europeans subsidise regular sugar.

Photo: With retail sugar prices up one and one-half cents a pound, Kansas City housewives joined others over the country in storing up a reserve supply. Agnes White includes a generous supply in her grocery order, Sept. 7, 1939. Katherine Browne, behind the counter, said that average of 10 pounds of sugar was being included in every order. (AP Photo/Clarence Hamm).



Posted: 14th, January 2013 | In: Money, Scare Stories, The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink