Graphs: HCFS and Obesity

Update 2012-08-30: old graph links decayed; replaced with other graphs of same data.
Almost as many obese as healthy weight adults in the U.S., and the rest are overweight. Something changed starting about 1980. Data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Health, United States, 2005. Graph source: Wikipedia Blue Cross Blue Shield, with this accompanying text:
While the percentage of the U.S. population considered overweight has been stable since 1960-62, the percentage considered obese has more than doubled.
What happened?

The second graph shows U.S. per capita consumption of sweeteners. Interestinglly, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) takes off at the same time as obesity in the previous graph. Data in the second graph is from USDA. Found it via Wikipedia We Meat Again. Yeah, yeah, I know; people hate Wikipedia, but you can still follow the reference links.

In this case, I think Wikipedia missed the 1977 U.S. sugar tariff, which happens to correspond with when the HFCS curve passes the sugar curve on that graph. U.S. tariffed sugar. EU limits HCFS HFCS production. Which has the most obese people?

HCFS HFCS isn’t the only thing causing this, for example Richard Sexton points out a Scientific American article about contaminants affecting human genes and making people more susceptible to cancer and diabetes.

Another part is aspartame. Innocuous sugar substitute, right? Actually, cancer-causing chemical that doesn’t reduce overall calorie intake. The FDA wouldn’t approve it for 16 years after Searle Laboratories discoverd it. Until the Searle Labs CEO got on Reagan’s transition team and got a fellow named Hayes appointed FDA head. Hayes approved aspartame in 1981. The CEO’s name? Donald Rumsfeld.

Still, HCFS HFCS is a big one. Like aspartame, HFCS doesn’t make you feel full, so you keep eating. And HCFS HFCS is in a lot more foods and drinks than aspartame.

Monsanto makes the seeds that grow the corn that goes into the HFCS that goes into huge amounts of foods that make Americans huge.