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High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Is This What’s for Dinner?


Duffey, Kiyah J. & Popkin, Barry M. (2008). High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Is This What’s for Dinner?. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 88(6), S1722S-32. PMCID: PMC2746720


BACKGROUND: Research on trends in consumption of added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the United States has largely focused on calorically sweetened beverages and ignored other sources.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine US consumption of added sugar and HFCS to determine long-term trends in availability and intake from beverages and foods.
DESIGN: We used 2 estimation techniques and data from the Nationwide Food Consumption Surveys (1965 and 1977), Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (1989-1991), and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1999-2000, 2001-2002, and 2003-2004) to examine trends in HFCS and added sugar both overall and within certain food and beverage groups.
RESULTS: Availability and consumption of HFCS and added sugar increased over time until a slight decline between 2000 and 2004. By 2004, HFCS provided roughly 8% of total energy intake compared with total added sugar of 377 kcal . person(-1) . d(-1), accounting for 17% of total energy intake. Although food and beverage trends were similar, soft drinks and fruit drinks provided the most HFCS (158 and 40 kcal . person(-1) . d(-1) in 2004, respectively). Moreover, among the top 20% of individuals, 896 kcal . person(-1) . d(-1) of added sugar was consumed compared with 505 kcal . person(-1) . d(-1) of HFCS. Among consumers, sweetened tea and desserts also represented major contributors of calories from added sugar (>100 kcal . person(-1) . d(-1)).
CONCLUSION: Although increased intake of calories from HFCS is important to examine, the health effect of overall trends in added caloric sweeteners should not be overlooked.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition


Duffey, Kiyah J.
Popkin, Barry M.