Sweet Lies: Did the Sugar Industry Pay Experts to Blame Saturated Fat for Heart Disease?
In a colossal public revelation, historical documents disclose how in the 1960s, the sugar industry paid scientists to sweeten the truth, manipulating the link between sugar and heart disease in America, and instead, blaming it on saturated fats.
According to New York Times, a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine looks into the sugar industry's interaction with three Harvard scientists, which are available in historical documents.
They study's investigation found the sugar industry's practice of using money for biased health research. The Sugar Association, formerly known as the Sugar Research Foundation, paid the equivalent of $49,000 today to the three Harvard scientists for a literature review about sugar, fats and coronary heart disease. Using money and influence, instead of publishing all the results, the organization had a first-hand pick on what the scientists would publish, leaving out some important facts.
Meanwhile, this is not the first occurrence about the sugar industry's dirty trade. In 2015, a 2014 report published in PLOS Medicine reveals that the sugar lobby influence the National Institue of Dental Research's scientific agenda on cavities. The lobby has also been involved in the creation of US federal policies on America's sugar consumption, Smithsonian reports.
The Sugar Association was also in the hot seat in 2014 when the Union of Concerned Scientists accused the organization of hindering studies that show the negative effects of added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup.
“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, author of the study. “It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion."
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University said in an editorial piece that the sugar industry's practices are "appalling," adding that the study obviously showed concrete evidence that the sugar industry funded research to ultimately remove sugar as a cause of coronary heart disease.
“I think it’s appalling. You just never see examples that are this blatant," Nestle said.