Fun With Advertising

My sister sent me this ad a little while ago:

HFCS1

She sent it because it made her think of me, as one of my pet peeves is people getting nutrition advice from people who have no idea what they are talking about – like from people working in a supplement store1. And this was my (highly artistic) response:

HFCS2

Because, rather unsurprisingly, the “Sweet Surprise” website is run by the Corn Refiner’s Association, a trade association representing the corn refining industry.  According to this website, they’ll all in a lather over people thinking that high fructose corn syrup has more calories or a different sweetness level or different simple sugar building blocks than table sugar.  Because, you know, this is a very important misunderstanding that must be corrected for people to live a healthy life! </sarcasm>

Of course, it totally ignores the fact that even if high fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as table sugar and both are made up of glucose & fructose building blocks… well, no one considers table sugar to be healthy anyway!  I don’t know of any health professionals saying “be sure to include lots of added table sugar to your meals!”

I should point out that, despite my little joke above, when I looked at the site they do, in fact, have a video clip of a registered dietitian/PhD.  Her message is that high fructose corn syrup doesn’t contribute to obesity more than any other caloric sweetener. There are also clips of other people with MDs and PhDs saying basically the same thing.  But, really, is saying “Our product isn’t worse than other products that aren’t particularly good for you” that compelling of a pitch?

  1. Just today I was having brunch with a friend and she was telling me about a boot camp she was going to where they gave out a “healthy” meal plan that was full of processed foods! []