High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked with Higher Incidence of Diabetes

According to a new study published in the journal Global Health, countries that mix high fructose corn syrup into processed foods and soft drinks have higher rates of diabetes than countries that don't use the sweetener.

Researchers compared the average availability of HFCS to rates of diabetes in 43 countries. About half of the countries had little to no HFCS in their food. In the other 20 countries, HFCS ranged from a pound per year per person in Germany to 55 pounds per year per person in the United States.

The researchers found that countries using HFCS had rates of diabetes that were about 20% higher than countries that don't use it. Those differences remained even after they took into account data for differences in body size, population, and wealth.

There were no overall differences in total sugars or total calories between countries that did and did not use HFCS, which suggests that there is an independent relationship between HFCS and diabetes. Although the study found an association, it doesn't establish a cause/effect relationship.