Press Release

Dr. Ruth’s Newest Patient Is the Much-Maligned High Fructose Corn Syrup

In a new humorous and provocative ad released online today by the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, better known as “Dr. Ruth,” resolves the confusion about high fructose corn syrup. In the ad, Dr. Ruth counsels “Corn Sugar,” a giant ear of corn, as he struggles with the public’s misperceptions about how much fructose is really in high fructose corn syrup. (Dr. Ruth prescribes the “Corn Sugar” name change.) This new video is part of CCF’s SweetScam project, a public education effort to counter inaccurate information about sweeteners.

The “high fructose” name doesn’t fit Dr. Ruth’s patient because it only contains 55 percent fructose—about the same as refined table sugar, and the version in many foods on grocery store shelves contains less fructose than table sugar. According to the American Medical Association, the human body digests all sugars in the same fashion, regardless of whether they come from corn, beets, or sugar cane.

“Dr. Ruth has spent her career making people feel good about themselves,” said David Martosko, CCF’s Director of Research. “And if anyone needs cheering up, it’s high fructose corn syrup. Consumers are being misled by its scientific-sounding name, even though study after study shows that sugar is sugar.”

At first blush, Dr. Ruth thinks her patient’s problem might be sexual (of course). But eventually she helps him understand that nutrition bullies are taunting him without a good reason. His problem, she discovers, is low self-esteem. “I didn’t think it was sexual,” Dr. Ruth concludes.

Martosko added: “Corn sugar isn’t the only food with an inferiority complex, nutrition zealots and foodie elites are also attacking salt, caffeine, meat, and practically everything else in our kitchens. Maybe Dr. Ruth needs to expand her practice to include other demoralized foods.” 

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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