Sugar, once demonized by parents and dentists alike, is back in style, this time as a selling point for food companies who want to broadcast that their products are free from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the New York Times reports. HFCS, though believed by most scientists to be the same as sugar for your health, has become a whipping boy these days.
Log Cabin syrup recently announced that they've stopped using HFCS in their syrup; Pepsi has come out with new sugar-sweetened Pepsi and Mountain Dew; ConAgra uses only sugar or honey in its Healthy Choice All Natural frozen entrees.
"The argument about which is better for you, sucrose or HFCS, is garbage. Both are equally bad for your health," says Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco Children's Hospital.
"For consumers, perception is reality," says Jim Sieple, a senior vice president for Log Cabin syrup.
This seems like an incredibly cynical move, preying on people's misperceptions about HFCS to market products filled with equally obesity-promoting sugar as "healthy." It feels very wrong that a soda company or a frozen dinner company slaps the words "all natural" (a totally meaningless marketing phrase) on a piece of junk food to make people feel like it's wholesome.
The problem is not HFCS OR sugar, it's the fact that items like frozen dinners are larded with sweeteners to make them more appealing (I don't put sugar in my pot pie, do you?), and that we drink gallons of soda instead of water.
What do you think? Is it wrong for companies to promote sugar-sweetened foods as healthy alternatives?
[Via: New York Times]