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“Fed Up” Documentary Highlights Nutritional Equivalence of Sweeteners

Katie Couric’s “Fed Up” Documentary Highlights Nutritional Equivalence of Sweeteners

CRA Applauds Efforts to Encourage Americans to Eat Better and Exercise

May 9, 2014

CONTACT: David Knowles
(202) 534-3494

WASHINGTON, DC – The Corn Refiners Association applauds Katie Couric’s statement that “high fructose corn syrup …is metabolized by our bodies exactly the same way as sugar.”

Although, it is unfortunate that Ms. Couric’s documentary perpetrates the misconception that one specific food group is responsible for increasing waistlines in the U.S. population. Widely accepted scientific research shows that excess calories and not enough exercise are the causes of obesity and related diseases. The National Institutes of Health has stated that, “People gain weight when they eat more calories than they burn through activity. This imbalance is the greatest contributor to weight gain.”

According to USDA data, Americans’ total per capita daily caloric intake has increased by 458 calories since 1970. 53% of those calories are from added fats and 37% are from flour and cereal products, while added sugars account for 7% of the daily increase. All excess calories contribute to obesity.

It is a disservice to consumers to single out any one particular food or ingredient. For many years, our industry has made considerable efforts to encourage moderation and a balanced lifestyle. Most recently, the Corn Refiners Association committed significant resources to the launch of a national, online consumer engagement campaign. It features registered dietitians who promote a healthy lifestyle through caloric balance, including the total sugars in your diet, rather than focus on a specific type of sugar. Ms. Couric’s efforts in many ways echo this message.

Also unfortunate in her documentary, Ms. Couric states that since 1995 the U.S. Government has paid $8.1 billion in subsidies for corn sweeteners. This is a mistake on her researchers’ part. Manufacturers of high-fructose corn syrup do not receive government subsidies.


The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.

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