Obesity refers to increased addition of fat in the body to a point of presenting a risk to an individual’s health. The condition is associated with consequences of other disease problems. Conditions that results from obesity include heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke and osteoarthritis among others. Apart from diseases caused by obesity, there are other detrimental effects, such as, social, economical and psychological effects.
The World Health Organization estimated 1.6 billion people over the age of 15 years to be overweight. The report also revealed that over 20 million children under the age of five were overweight. In 1970, the number of Americans who were obese stood at approximately 15 percent of the total American population. Currently, the rate has increased to 33 percent of the total American population. Therefore, there is a close relationship between the increase in the rate of obesity and introduction/consumption of high fructose corn syrup. Despite the truth that there exist other influences that may have contributed to increase in obesity rate, the consumption of corn syrup cannot be overlooked (Parker, H. march 22, 2010).
To illustrate possibilities of high fructose corn syrup leading to obesity, researchers in Princeton Neuroscience Institute released a report, published on 26/2/ 2010, showing that corn syrup caused an increase in weight in rats. The report also showed that these rats also had developed metabolic syndrome as compared to those that were fed on natural sugar alone. This is a clear indication of how the body responds once we ingest corn sugar (Parker, March 22, 2010).
Ample claims have been put forward to explain why high fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity. The inability of fructose to produce satiety hormone, causes the body to demand more food. The individual is thus unable to control the amount of food intake. This increases the amount of nutrients in the body resulting in a high rate of fat deposition, hence overweight problems. The natural sugar does not result in such cases since it has a capacity to stimulate insulin that in turn controls Leptin. Moreover, high fructose corn syrup is associated with resistance to Leptin protein. This causes increased hunger that drives a person to consume a lot, but the more the individual consumes, the more he becomes hungrier (Barrington, 2009).
Fructose metabolism results in an increased level of triglycerides in the body. As mentioned earlier, the metabolism of fructose yields acetyl CoA in large numbers. These products are then converted into fat that is deposited in the body. Consequently, the individual adds up weight drastically. Since the body keeps demanding more food, and the food is synthesized to lipid and deposited in the body, the rate of individual developing to obese is increased.
People consuming high fructose corn syrup products tend to develop fat cells along the heart muscle as well as other vital organs. This was proved through a research done in the University of California (Barrington, 2009). In this research, volunteers were on a controlled diet that had a high proportion of fructose, while another group received a diet rich in glucose. After a period of over ten weeks, the groups were evaluated for changes. The group that received a diet high in fructose was found to have ‘developed fat cells around their heart, liver and digestive organs’ (Barrington, 2009). It is fascinating to have some people oppose the fact that high fructose products lead to obesity, even after a clear demonstration of such effects from this research. If the people continued to be on the same diet, there would be some evidence of weight differences between the two groups.