50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat
Please do not miss reading this article reported by NPR:
NPR ARTICLE: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat
September 13, 20169:59 AM ET
A newly discovered cache of internal documents reveals that the sugar industry downplayed the risks of sugar in the 1960s.
In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to “refute” concerns about sugar’s possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding.
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The sugar-funded project in question was a literature review, examining a variety of studies and experiments. It suggested there were major problems with all the studies that implicated sugar, and concluded that cutting fat out of American diets was the best way to address coronary heart disease.
The authors of the new article say that for the past five decades, the sugar industry has been attempting to influence the scientific debate over the relative risks of sugar and fat.
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In the article, published Monday, authors Glantz, Cristin Kearns and Laura Schmidt aren’t trying make the case for a link between sugar and coronary heart disease. Their interest is in the process. They say the documents reveal the sugar industry attempting to influence scientific inquiry and debate.
The researchers note that they worked under some limitations — “We could not interview key actors involved in this historical episode because they have died,” they write. Other organizations were also advocating concerns about fat, they note.
There’s no evidence that the SRF directly edited the manuscript published by the Harvard scientists in 1967, but there is “circumstantial” evidence that the interests of the sugar lobby shaped the conclusions of the review, the researchers say.
For one thing, there’s motivation and intent. In 1954, the researchers note, the president of the SRF gave a speech describing a great business opportunity.
If Americans could be persuaded to eat a lower-fat diet — for the sake of their health — they would need to replace that fat with something else. America’s per capita sugar consumption could go up by a third.
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But in the ’60s, the SRF became aware of “flowing reports that sugar is a less desirable dietary source of calories than other carbohydrates,” as John Hickson, SRF vice president and director of research, put it in one document.
He recommended that the industry fund its own studies — “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors.”
The next year, after several scientific articles were published suggesting a link between sucrose and coronary heart disease, the SRF approved the literature-review project. It wound up paying approximately $50,000 in today’s dollars for the research.
One of the researchers was the chairman of Harvard’s Public Health Nutrition Department — and an ad hoc member of SRF’s board.
“A different standard” for different studies
Glantz, Kearns and Schmidt say many of the articles examined in the review were hand-selected by SRF, and it was implied that the sugar industry would expect them to be critiqued.
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In a letter, SRF’s Hickson said that the organization’s “particular interest” was in evaluating studies focused on “carbohydrates in the form of sucrose.”
“We are well aware,” one of the scientists replied, “and will cover this as well as we can.”
The project wound up taking longer than expected, because more and more studies were being released that suggested sugar might be linked to coronary heart disease. But it was finally published in 1967.
Hickson was certainly happy with the result: “Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind and we look forward to its appearance in print,” he told one of the scientists.
The review minimized the significance of research that suggested sugar could play a role in coronary heart disease. In some cases the scientists alleged investigator incompetence or flawed methodology.
“It is always appropriate to question the validity of individual studies,” Kearns told Bloomberg via email.
Epidemiological studies of sugar consumption — which look at patterns of health and disease in the real world — were dismissed for having too many possible factors getting in the way. Experimental studies were dismissed for being too dissimilar to real life.
One study that found a health benefit when people ate less sugar and more vegetables was dismissed because that dietary change was not feasible.
Another study, in which rats were given a diet low in fat and high in sugar, was rejected because “such diets are rarely consumed by man.”
The Harvard researchers then turned to studies that examined risks of fat — which included the same kind of epidemiological studies they had dismissed when it came to sugar.
Citing “few study characteristics and no quantitative results,” as Kearns, Glantz and Schmidt put it, they concluded that cutting out fat was “no doubt” the best dietary intervention to prevent coronary heart disease.
Sugar lobby: “Transparency standards were not the norm”
In a statement, the Sugar Association — which evolved out of the SRF — said it is challenging to comment on events from so long ago.
“We acknowledge that the Sugar Research Foundation should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities, however, when the studies in question were published funding disclosures and transparency standards were not the norm they are today,” the association said.
“Generally speaking, it is not only unfortunate but a disservice that industry-funded research is branded as tainted,” the statement continues. “What is often missing from the dialogue is that industry-funded research has been informative in addressing key issues.”
The documents in question are five decades old, but the larger issue is of the moment, as Marion Nestle notes in a commentary in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine:
“Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola’s cozy relationships with sponsored researchers who were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. Even more recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not.”
MY TURN: Diane Kress
TWENTY YEARS AGO, Diane Kress reported that over fifty years ago, the medical community…..funded with billions from the Sugar Council , Coke, Pepsi, McDonald’s, General Mills, and even candy manufacturers , decided to recommend the low fat, low calorie diet as the gold standard for American health. Those who needed to lose weight, decrease glucose, lipids, blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight/obesity were recommended to decrease calories and decrease fat in their diet.
50+ years later, Americans are fatter, sicker, and taking more medication than ever. This harmful diet advice destroyed the health of a nation. Please read the NPR article and then read the links to my articles that provide the answer to this mess.
In my years of research (over 35 years as a medical nutrition therapist) I developed the only diet and lifestyle program that resets your overworked metabolism and finally enables long-term weight loss, increased energy/focus/concentration, improved HEALTH and lowering or eliminating medications linked to your increasing weight and declining health. Harvard’s Nutrition Committee as well as the American Medical Association, The American Diabetes Association, and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reviewed “The Metabolism Miracle” and I’ve been told that they found the program to be state- of- the- science and accurate regarding the relationship between macronutrients and the physiology of the body.
It is also proven to work! Patients on the program will see marked improvement in their weight, body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, Vitamin D, insulin levels in as little as 8 weeks and on….
Considering NPR’s reporting, it becomes clear why the medical associations chose to stay with their “diet” protocol! They are funded by those who promote the OPPOSITE of The Metabolism Miracle. The medical associations, pharmaceutical industry, and the food companies that produce high carbohydrate food items do not stand to make a single penny from the truth in the Metabolism Miracle.
As a matter of fact, they will lose money.
The Metabolism Miracle lifestyle program enables you to regain your health, wellness, energy, desired weight, normalized glucose, cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, Vitamin D, and decreases fat deposits on your body (love handles, back fat, muffin top), in your blood (cholesterol and triglycerides), visceral fat (fat between your abdominal organs), and in your liver (non- alcohol fatty liver disease).
Embrace the Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition and regain your health and wellness…..before it’s too late. Read about the program on http://www.themetabolismmiracle.com, on Diane Kress’ blog at http://www.dianekress.wordpress.com.
WOW articles written by Diane Kress exposing this collusion…..
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics….Home of all US Registered Dietitians…..gets corporate sponsorship from….Coca-Cola???
Fast food Addiction….it’s all about the carb grams (not the fat/calories) and the public deserves to know
Sugar Wars….Yes, we need to fight the war on obesity, but we must target the right enemy if we plan to win https://dianekress.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/the-real-scoop-on-sugar-yet-another-half-baked-article-that-continues-to-keep-the-american-public-in-the-dark-about-their-health-and-wellness-attention-lights-are-now-on/
American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association take a BABY Step linking sugar to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. At this rate, these deadly epidemics won’t be stopped until the next century!
Are Cheerios Really the Preferred Cereal to Lower Cholesterol?
A Can of Cola…. Toxic to Your Health? … Or the Target of a Well-Orchestrated Financial Take-Down?
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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: Important for women to read the truthful article on the correct diet to prevent and control breast cancer!
DIANE KRESS’ 4 Part Series that will CHANGE your weight, health, energy…PART 1
PART 2 …Two distinctly DIFFERENT Metabolisms require two very different diet/exercise lifestyles
Part 3: Are You in the 60% ? Are YOU among the Millions Scammed with Diet Misinformation?
PART 4 of Diane Kress’ 4 PART SERIES: Get THE HEALTH AND WEIGHT YOU DESERVE.