USC Study

The University of Southern California Data Doesn’t Add Up

In late 2010, the University of Southern California’s Childhood Obesity Research Center put out what sounded like a very troubling report. In it they claimed the amount of fructose in sodas made in the United States was far higher than what the public had been told. Yet after a little more digging, it turns out this study was flawed from the start.

You can read the Corn Refiners Association press release that details all of the flaws we found in the approach and analysis of the data.

But even more compelling, two industry groups later tried to replicate the findings of the USC team, but they came up with very different findings. First DTB Associates did an in-depth survey collecting data from all HFCS-producing plants in North America. The survey results indicated that the USC research team’s claim that the fructose content in HFCS exceeds industry standards were inaccurate. To read this independent review, click here.

The International Society of Beverage Technologists also commissioned its own independent scientific review, using the same lab as the USC researchers. Just like the DTB Associate’s report, the ISBT analysis showed normal levels of fructose in all of the samples of HFCS they tested. Read the ISBT review here.

It is apparent from both of these reports that the USC research included many flaws in its methodology and accuracy, and its attempt to claim “higher than normal” levels of fructose in soda isn’t backed by the science.