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The Over Production of Corn in Relation to the Rise of Obesity in America

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posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 03:30 PM
When I watched a documentary about the way our food is made today, it touched on the subject of corn and genetically modified corn (which is a whole other topic unto itself) and how they feed it to animals, cows, chickens, etc, in order to make them fatter for market I started thinking that if corn is making cows so fat they can barely walk, then wouldn't it be having the same effect on us? So I started doing some research on the amount of corn we ingest on a day to day basis and how it could be affecting our weight without us even realizing it. Sure enough I came across some interesting information.

I realize high-fructose corn syrup has been discussed at length on ATS, but I was hoping for a more generalized discussion on the over production of corn in general and how it has affected our economy, how we view food, and most of all the drastic increase of obesity levels, from animals to humans. If you doubt it, take a look at any of the processed products in your refrigerator, from bread, to ketchup, salad dressing, you're 'whole grain' bread, (which I foolishly thought meant whole wheat, but is really mostly made of corn) it is really in everything!

Clearly the biggest conspiracy here is the relentless drive for more profits, to gain just another almighty dollar, through mis-leading advertising and labelling, all at the expense of our health.

Binge Eating of Refined Carboyhydrates: Alcohol and Corn According to Pollan’s research (2002), there have been two periods of epidemic binging in America’s history. The first occurred at the turn of the nineteenth century, as a wave of cheap liquor washed over the country and alcohol abuse proliferated, along with its attendant social and health problems. The second era of binging, one that is far more serious, is now upon us, as we eat ourselves literally sick unto death on energy-dense foods lacking in the vital nutrients necessary for health. What these two eras have in common is an overabundance of corn. Currently comprising about a quarter of our farmland and producing nine billion bushels a year, corn is our single largest crop (Wilson, 2005). This overabundance brings down prices, creating plentiful food at dirt cheap prices. In the early 1800s there were two things you could do with too much corn: feed it to the hogs or distill it into hard liquor (Pollan, 2003). Today we rely on the genius of food technologists to devise “a-maize-ing” ways to fashion our current surplus into various kinds of profitable foodstuffs in ever-larger serving sizes, on which we consumers grow fat.

High Fructose Corn Sweetener and Obesity:
No Accident Enter modern science. It is well-known that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), an inexpensive, highly concentrated product synthesized from cornstarch, is widely used in the food industry, most notably as the primary sweetener in soft drinks and baked goods. What is less well known is that its usage increased 1000% between 1970, when it entered our food supply, and 1990 (Bray et al., 2004). This vast increase in usage far surpasses that of any other food or food group and is largely due to its incredibly low price. In their insatiable hunger for higher profits, food manufacturers add increasing amounts of it to their products in ever-increasing portion sizes. Instead of the once common eight-ounce soft drink, we are now more likely to find a 20-ounce (or bigger) size. HFCS currently represents 40% of sweeteners added to foods and beverages, and it is conservatively estimated that the average rate of consumption is 132 daily calories for everyone over the age of two (Bray et al., 2004). For heavy consumers, this figure increases to more than 300 calories per day. This works out to an average range of about 10-20% of daily calories from HFCS. The skyrocketing of HFCS in the food supply has paralleled our nation’s rapid increase in obesity.

GMO Corn-Fed Animals and Fatty Acids:
But there’s more. We feed a lot of corn (and soy)—much of both genetically modified—to cattle, including those we eat and those whose milk we consume. While little is known about how this affects dairy products, studies have shown that the fat content of our meat differs radically from that of cattle fed entirely on pasturage. Grass-fed beef is significantly lower in overall fat content, lower in saturated fat content, and higher in polyunsaturated fat content (Daley et al., 2006a). A joint study by California State University, Chico and the University of California Cooperative Extension Service found that beef from cattle fed solely on grass provided a healthier ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats—3:1 versus about 20:1 in grain-fed beef.

Feeding grain to cattle has got to be one of the dumbest ideas in the history of western civilization. ...Traditionally, all beef was grass-fed beef, but in the United States today what is commercially available is almost all feedlot beef. The reason? It's faster, and so more profitable. Seventy-five years ago, steers were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter. Today, they are 14 or 16 months. You can't take a beef calf from a birth weight of 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in a little more than a year on grass. It takes enormous quantities of corn, protein supplements, antibiotics and other drugs, including growth hormones.

Is Corn Making Us Fat?

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 03:34 PM
Hey, corn is good, I run ethonol in my vehicles , its cheaper and taxed less and burns far cleaner than oil based fuels, not to mention as it grows it captures carbon.. lets off oxygen etc..

Sure as a food source it may be causing obesity in ways , however it is a good food source when used in moderation and in conjunction with other food sources.. Just like everything using in in moderation is the key.

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by E-ville
Hey, corn is good, I run ethonol in my vehicles , its cheaper and taxed less and burns far cleaner than oil based fuels, not to mention as it grows it captures carbon.. lets off oxygen etc..

Sure as a food source it may be causing obesity in ways , however it is a good food source when used in moderation and in conjunction with other food sources.. Just like everything using in in moderation is the key.

Of course, there are great uses for it. However, clearly it is NOT being used in moderation in our ever day diets. And when moderation is not exerted, bad things happen such as obesity.

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 04:31 PM
It's true that high fructose corn syrup is caloric and "bad" for us but no,corn persay isn't making people fat: PEOPLE are making themselves fat!

I am shocked at the portions some people consume that I notice when I'm out to eat! It comes down to bad choices and a lack of personable responsibility once again: two things that many these days chose to indulge in IMO.

"Some of us" aka those of us who are into health and not heathcare,fitness, and a higher quality of life READ the labels, COUNT the calories, and in general know what we "should and shouldn't" consume as an adult in mass quantities.

There is SO much info available and SO many options these days: very few people IMO can't help becoming obsese,sorry. I am surrounded by fit people in gyms and cardio classses every day who do take personable responsibility for what they eat so there's hope!

I have an app that allows me to keep track of my calories,carbs,proteins,fats,etc and it takes about 2 minutes a day to find out what's in the foods I chose to eat and it's not rocket science.If an intelligent person "sees" that their corn-related carbs are too high...well...they need to back them down,right? There are tons of free sites as well that you can actually log in what you consume and see what's "hidden" in it but I'm pretty sure most people can read a label?

Our health is our own responsibility when you come right down to it no matter what's "in" some foods...

[edit on 27-6-2010 by irishchic]

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 02:17 AM
reply to post by irishchic

while i understand what you're saying and agree that our overindulgence of foods contributes to our own obesity, yet, i think there is a correlation between the obesity and the amount of corn we are getting in our diets. corn is in EVERYTHING now days, and the studies seem to show a spike in obesity at the same time copious amounts of corn was being added to all of our foods.

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