The sugar industry is a powerful lobby, and a new study claims that they have been paying off researchers for years.
The sugar industry is lying to you. That’s what a new study is saying, and the reason why is fascinating: they’re trying to get you to focus way too much on fatty foods and ignore how much sugar you’re consuming. And in order to do that, they’ve paid researchers sweet sums of money to help them.
We all know sugar is a major cause of the obesity epidemic in America, but you may not realize how big of a role it has, and may overestimate the role of fat in your diet. It all goes back to the 1960s, when the sugar industry started writing checks to a group of Harvard researchers to downplay the links sugar has to heart disease, according to a paper published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
One of the researchers even ended up the head nutritionist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, helping to define the current dietary guidelines. And now, we have government-approved low-fat, high-sguar diets that have contributed to the obesity epidemic to thank them for, the report states.
The archived documents were pulled from the Sugar Research Foundation by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. And it shows just how bad it can be for the industry to influence research.
“This study suggests that the sugar industry sponsored its first CHD [coronary heart disease] research project in 1965 to downplay early warning signs that sucrose consumption was a risk factor in CHD. As of 2016, sugar control policies are being promulgated in international, federal, state and local venues. Yet CHD risk is inconsistently cited as a health consequence of added sugars consumption. Because CHD is the leading cause of death globally, the health community should ensure that CHD risk is evaluated in future risk assessments of added sugars. 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,” the article concludes.
The Sugar Association hit back in a statement, questioning the researchers motives and bemoaning an “anti-sugar narrative” that they have to struggle with.