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Sugar Association Seeks to Set the Record Straight on 'Sugar-Sweetened Beverage' Terminology

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the debates about "eat this -- not that" continue to dominate the obesity conversations, it is time to set the record straight about what sweetens most of the non-diet beverages in the United States.  It is High Fructose Corn Syrup 55 (HFCS), not sugar (sucrose).  

In hundreds of news stories and articles published in the last 12 months, all-natural sugar is misidentified as a prominent soda sweetener. Terms like "sugary sodas" and "sugar-sweetened beverages" are consistently misused in press reports, leading the public to believe that it is granulated sugar sweetening their beverages.  

The Facts

  • Americans consumed more than 5 million tons of HFCS in drinks in 2008, according to the USDA-Economic Research Service. That's nearly 15 times more HFCS than sugar used in beverages.
  • Less than 5 percent of all U.S. sugar deliveries go to the beverage industry.
  • The United States has not used sugar to sweeten most of its soft drinks since Jimmy Carter sat in the Oval Office.
  • HFCS was invented in 1957, mass produced in the 1970s, and has had the majority of the beverage market ever since.
  • Sugar still sweetens beverages in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and most areas outside of the United States.
  • According to the Food and Drug Administration, the term "sugar" only applies to sucrose when listed as an ingredient.  HFCS is a different ingredient.

Until more manufacturers choose to use all-natural sugar, which has been used safely for more than 2,000 years, it is more accurate to use the term "HFCS-sweetened beverages" when reporting about beverages consumed in the United States.  Your help in correcting this common mistake is appreciated.  

SOURCE The Sugar Association

SOURCE The Sugar Association
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