The study, published in Global Public Health, found countries with higher use of high-fructose corn syrup had an average prevalence of type 2 diabetes of 8 percent compared to 6.7 percent in countries not using high-fructose corn syrup.
"High-fructose corn syrup appears to pose a serious public health problem on a global scale," principal study author Michael Goran, director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center and co-director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California, said in a statement. "The study adds to a growing body of scientific literature that indicates high-fructose corn syrup consumption may result in negative health consequences distinct from and more deleterious than natural sugar."
Goran and Stanley Ulijaszek of the University of Oxford said of the 42 countries studied, the United States had the highest per-capita consumption of high-fructose corn syrup at a rate of 55 pounds per year. The second highest was Hungary, with an annual rate of 47 pounds per capita. Canada, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Argentina, South Korea, Japan and Mexico are also relatively high high-fructose corn syrup consumers.
However, Germany, Poland, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, Finland and Serbia were among the lowest high-fructose corn syrup consumers.
Countries with per-capita consumption of less than 1 pound per year included: Australia, China, Denmark, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.