How the Sugar Industry Put the Blame on Fat

Facts versus Reality Look

We all have been told to go easy on the butter, and not to eat to many eggs or red meat because of the saturate fat or cholesterol. Now, I’m not saying to eat a stick of butter, a dozen eggs and 2lbs of steak every day. However, I do believe in all things in moderation, but this doesn’t mean that these animal products need to be eliminated from a diet completely in order to be healthy.

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I also believe that the negative effects of sugar have been grossly hidden from the public eye. The negative impact that nutrient rich foods like grass-fed butter, cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef have been unfairly demonized throughout the years in order to make a few people’s pocket books fat, at the expense of our nation’s health and well-being.

Historical documents show that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat and cholesterol as the culprit instead.  The sugar industry documents discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that fifty years of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.  The findings of this research have even shaped many of today’s dietary recommendations.

The documents discovered by the University of California researcher, show that a group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists $6,500, which today would be equivalent to $49,000, to publish a 1967 review of research on fat, sugar and heart disease. The studies selected in the review were strategically, and immorally handpicked by the sugar group. This article, which minimized the link between sugar and heart disease, and put the blame on saturated fat was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2016.

The Sugar Research foundation sponsored its first Coronary Heart Disease research project in 1965, a literature review published in the New England Journal of Medicine, singled out fat and cholesterol as the dietary causes of Coronary Heart Disease and downplayed evidence that sugar consumption was also a risk factor. The Sugar Research Foundation set the review of literature’s objective, contributed articles for inclusion, and received drafts. The Sugar Research Foundation’s funding and role was NOT disclosed in this research. In other words, the Sugar Research Foundation funded the research, strategically selected studies that would demonize fat and cholesterol rather than sugar as contributors to Heart Disease, then thought it would be a good idea to not let people know that they were funding the biased research, hiding their clear conflict of interests.

Funding from the food industry is not uncommon in scientific research. However, studies suggest that the funds tend to bias findings. An analysis of beverage studies, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found that those studies funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary beverages and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts.

Additional info can be found here from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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