This should be much bigger news. But of course all they talk about is the election so everything else goes into the news hole. The NY Times reported on bombshell documents uncovered by researchers and reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that show that the sugar industry paid off scientists in the 1960s to “successfully cast doubt about the hazards of sucrose while promoting fat as the dietary culprit in CHD (coronary heart disease)”. Such work also had profound impact on all nutrition reporting and of course on weight and health in general!
Link to underlying JAMA report.
Early warning signals of the coronary heart disease (CHD) risk of sugar (sucrose) emerged in the 1950s. We examined Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) internal documents, historical reports, and statements relevant to early debates about the dietary causes of CHD and assembled findings chronologically into a narrative case study. The SRF sponsored its first CHD research project in 1965, a literature review published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which singled out fat and cholesterol as the dietary causes of CHD and downplayed evidence that sucrose consumption was also a risk factor. The SRF set the review’s objective, contributed articles for inclusion, and received drafts. The SRF’s funding and role was not disclosed (emphasis added). Together with other recent analyses of sugar industry documents, our findings suggest the industry sponsored a research program in the 1960s and 1970s that successfully cast doubt about the hazards of sucrose while promoting fat as the dietary culprit in CHD. Policymaking committees should consider giving less weight to food industry–funded studies and include mechanistic and animal studies as well as studies appraising the effect of added sugars on multiple CHD biomarkers and disease development.
Read a terrific book a couple of years ago called “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” by Michael Moss. It should really be no surprise that lobbyists for food industries, usually in connection with the FDA and the Dept. of Agriculture have been lying to us for 50 years about what we should and should not be eating. The guidelines they pushed made people fatter and less healthy.
What they should have said was eat less, and mostly plant based. But there’s no eat less lobby or plant lobby, so instead they said carbs were okay (in fact the bottom of the pyramid), sugar was okay in moderation (which is not real guidance) and fat was the real problem while still touting meat consumption and handing out free cheese in order to control milk production!
It’s a crying shame to see so many unfit, obese people on the streets of this country. Of course, personal responsibility is big here, but they should sue the sugar lobby, the corn lobby, the fast food lobby, the soft drink lobby and the Dept. of Agriculture.