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How The Sugar Industry Paid Harvard Researchers to Say Fat (Not Sugar) Caused Heart Disease

the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat-the-secret-link-between-sugar As you might have noticed, sugar has now been the same criticism fat and cholesterol once had.

For more than 50 years, however, the sugar industry was the one who funds research to discredit the claim that the high consumption of sugar caused heart disease ( 1 ).

indeed, Dr. Cristin Kearns, a dentist become researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, found 2,000 pages of internal documents in the basement of a library of Harvard on these cases.

the link between sugar and heart disease

She discovered that two famous nutritionists Harvard, Dr. Fredrick Stare and Mark Hegsted, were paid by the Research Foundation sugar publish two criticisms in a medical journal superior. Both had the sole objective of minimizing the role of sugar in coronary heart disease after medical community had begun pointing.

Not only the sugar companies pay research, but the trade group initiated the study and researchers -picked hand and clear objectives will be presented to them. In total, the group paid the equivalent of $ 48,000 in 2016 dollars for his regime.

At that time, investigators had no obligation to cite conflicts of interest or funding publicly acknowledged. Therefore, both reviews (published in 1967 in the New England Journal of Medicine) did not disclose his ties to the sugar industry. However, these standards have changed since then.

Through this sleight of hand, the Foundation for Research on Sugar was able to drown proof that the sugar had a clear connection to heart disease and instead of blaming fat and cholesterol intake. Moreover, they suggested that you could cut your risk of heart disease by reducing your fat intake alone
Stanton Glantz, co-author of Kearns and his advisor at UCSF explains. “By doing this, he delayed the development of a scientific consensus on sugar heart disease for decades. “( 2 ).

also it leads to the rise in low-fat foods and high sugar content. Consequently, the market share of sugar soared.

Continuous Effects

Even now, some 50 years later, nutritionists disagree on whether fat, cholesterol intake or sugar is the biggest risk factor for coronary heart disease .

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For example, Marion Nestle, a nutrition expert at the University of New York, who was not involved in the role, admits he is not convinced that sugar is as bad as depicted. Instead, it is argued that the total calorie intake of a person might be more important in terms of causing disease.

However, Nestlé admitted “Science is not supposed to work this way … Is it really true that food companies deliberately out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues, “( 3 )

there is also another critical, very vocal of revelation.” We recognize that the Research Foundation Sugar should be more exercised transparency in all its research activities, “said sugar Association, the new name for the trade group.

also questioned the validity of the study “is a challenge for us to comment on the events that took place 60 years ago, and in the documents we have never seen.”

“sugar has a unique role in heart disease, “they insist. “We are disappointed to see a review of the size of JAMA” by “owner-bait articles to scientific research quality win,” the statement concluded.

how he came to fruition

Dr. Kearns became more interested in the issue of corporate influence after attending a 2007 conference in dentistry diabetes . The main speakers stressed that there is no evidence linking sugar to chronic disease ( 4 ).
Instead, the idea of ​​finding a vaccine for dental caries not suggest reducing sugar intake ( 5 ) was promoted.

Annoyed by this blatant denial of the evidence, set out to discover how the industry was deeply involved with medical research.

this is by far not only corporations rather have tried to manipulate information. The snuff, chemicals, industries dairy and pharmaceutical are well known for playing dirty. Coca-Cola million, the world’s largest producer of sugar-sweetened beverages, has spent dollars in research funding denying the relationship between sugary drinks and obesity.

Thanks to Dr. Kearns and his team, the federal government is now recognizing the dangers of sugar and has issued new dietary guidelines recommend less than 10 percent of daily calories a person come from added sugars. While this number is still very high, it is a step in the right direction.


depth of participation

all started after a John Hickson, vice president and research director of the Sugar Research Foundation, began tracking nutrition research.

After the medical community began to examine the role of sugar in chronic disease, the president of the trade group announced in 1954 that they would try to blame fat and cholesterol.

it was not until July 1965 that the Annals of Internal Medicine published a study of sugar linked to heart disease. After the fact, Hegsted approached for help. Later he became the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture and collaborator of federal dietary guidelines united state.

Meanwhile, his accomplice, Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, became the chairman of the nutrition department at Harvard University.

researchers actively communicate with the association during the review. When it came to the final version, Hickson has to take a look before publication. He wrote: “I assure you that this is quite what we had in mind and hope that their appearance in the press.”

The following year, newspapers were published. Although the authors disclose other industry funds, he never revealed his links with the Sugar Research Foundation.

For the first time, Glantz, Kearns and his coauthor, Laura Schmidt, have exposed the undeniable scientific research corporate bonds. His only regret is that they could not interview the authors of the questions, which are all now deceased.

“It was a very smart thing of the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a major newspaper, tend to shape the scientific discussion in general,” said Dr. Glantz.

emphasizes that this work should serve as a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funds rather than depend on industry funding.”

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