High fructose corn syrup ads target moms

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Mommy Wars

"Wowwww. You don't care what the kids eat, huh?" So says one mom to another at a children's birthday party. Harsh. That's the first thing wrong with the most recent ad from SweetSurprise.com, a website put out by the Corn Refiners Association to ease parents minds about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup.

In response to growing concern over the link between high fructose corn syrup and childhood obesity, parents are turning away from products aimed at kids that include the ingredient. This isn't sitting well with the Corn Refiners Association, who are fighting back with an ad campaign meant to make HFCS look as sweet as innocent as your little dumpling who's drinking it or eating it. But are they telling the truth?

The key here, I think, is in the ad's own words "fine in moderation." That may be a truth, yes, but HFCS is in an alarming number of processed food products marketed to children, including yogurts, cereals, crackers, chips, fruit snacks, and breakfast bars. Moderation, when it comes to HFCS, is hard to achieve unless you're actively aware of avoiding it. The CRA's other argument is that, because HFCS is made from corn, it's "all-natural." But what they have to do to the corn to refine it into syrup is not, making that a questionable claim at best.

The most worrisome thing to me, however, is that we're seeing this kind of political ad... for FOOD. That should set off alarm bells right there. Yes, I'll let my kids drink a glass of punch full of the stuff at their next birthday party. But if the CRA really believes their own "in moderation" line, then they should be reducing HFCS in children's food products. Not staging a mommy war next to the cupcakes.

Watch the ad below and tell us what you think.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.