Monday, April 12, 2010

Nanny State Watch: High Fructose Edition

New York is on a roll. Now there's a proposed bill to ban high-fructose corn syrup. Personally, I try to avoid HFCS, but I also try to avoid sugar. As Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward notes, a calorie is calorie, whether it's coming from HFCS or sugar:
The substitution of real sugar for high fructose corn syrup is like the old riddle about which is heavier: A 10-pound bag of feathers or a 10-pound bag of lead? (Answer here, but we're going to ban anyone who needs to click through from, so choose carefully.) A calorie of natural sugar is still a calorie. Weight gain or loss is determined by calories in vs. calories out. Ruth Kava, the director of nutrition at the American Council on Science & Health, a group that debunks food and health panics, says "I don't know how one supposedly distinguishes between ‘real' sugar and any other kind!"