Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Additive of the Week - High Fructose Corn Syrup

Our Additive of the Week - High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) - is found in these items served for lunch at our school:


Whole wheat bread slice - a side and in the sandwiches
served daily
Slider buns

Gravy (served with the turkey)

High Fructose Corn Syrup is an inexpensive sweetener made in factories from corn (all most all of which is now genetically modified in this country) which some studies have linked to a rise in obesity here in the U.S. It is found extensively in processed foods and sweet beverages. Regardless of whether or not it is worse than other sugars (and it likely is - see below), our children's lunches don't need this much added sugar.

Regarding sugar in general, there is no restriction within the USDA guidelines for the school lunch program regarding total added sugar. Some schools do have Wellness Policies that stipulate foods served at lunch cannot contain HFCS. Ours doesn't say much and certainly doesn't ban or limit salt or sugar in any way. (For more on our Wellness Policy, see the nutrition page on our website at

Many, many foods we serve including the already-sweet fruits have other added sugars, too.

There's new research on the role HFCS in particular may play in promoting the growth of certain fat cells in children. Read more in the Business Week article here.

Princeton researchers also recently found that even holding total caloric intake the same, rats with access to HFCS gained more weight than rats eating table sugar. Read more here.

Finally, the Washington Post ran an article last year reporting that testing done on commercial samples of HFCS showed mercury existed in half the samples. Kids aren't supposed to eat mercury. Check it out for yourself by clicking here.

To read more about the amount of sugar in school lunch and why it isn't currently regulated, read Ed Bruske's post (of BetterDCSchoolFood).

Let's tell our school to be on the safe side and decide we don't need to feed high fructose corn syrup to our kids, and we need to have some limit on all added sugar. Last year, for example, we seerved chicken nuggets, a slice of bread, applesauce and carrots for lunch one day - a very typical meal. This lunch contained 25g of sugar. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should only consume 32g in an entire day - clearly small children should consume much less in one meal. We need to have meaningful limits in our school's wellness policy on added sugar.


No comments:

Post a Comment