Experts are claiming that consumers these days are being misled on the nutritional differences between high fructose sweeteners and natural sugars.
Condemning the Starbucks and other brands decision to drop high fructose corn syrup from certain products, experts say that both the sweetners are nutritionally the same.
A Washington Post health reporter Jennifer LaRue Huget wrote: "...most nutrition experts now agree there's really little material difference" between high fructose corn syrup and other caloric sweeteners."
She added: "They all deliver about 15-20 calories per teaspoon, and the human body appears not to know one from the other."
Food industry critic Dr. Walter Willett, of Harvard University's School of Public Health, also wrote in a Chicago Tribune article that recent product reformulations a "marketing distraction."
Another well-known food industry critic, Marion Nestle, commented that this type of product reformulation is a "calorie distractor."
"The irony is that white table sugar - formerly a leading target of 'eat less' messages - suddenly has a health aura. Marketers have wasted no time moving in to use that aura to sell the same old products," he said.
Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, said: "Consumers are being misled into thinking that there are nutritional differences between high fructose corn syrup and sugar, when in fact they are nutritionally the same. Whether from cane, beets, or corn, a sugar is a sugar. They all contain four calories per gram."
Erickson added: "Switching out a kind of corn sugar for table sugar is not for health and it is not for science. It is for quarterly earnings. It is unfortunate that consumers are being duped by these marketing gimmicks - gimmicks which may result in higher food prices at checkout."