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"How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat"


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#1 August West

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 02:03 AM

Original article.

 

 

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

 

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.

 

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

 

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

 

Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.

 

Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

 

The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.

 

In a statement responding to the JAMA journal report, the Sugar Association said that the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals did not typically require researchers to disclose funding sources. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.

 

The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”

 

The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

 

“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,” he said.

 

Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

 

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wrote an editorial accompanying the new paper in which she said the documents provided “compelling evidence” that the sugar industry had initiated research “expressly to exonerate sugar as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.”

 

“I think it’s appalling,” she said. “You just never see examples that are this blatant.”

 

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s, but that the industry papers were a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.”

 

Dr. Willett said the researchers had limited data to assess the relative risks of sugar and fat. “Given the data that we have today, we have shown the refined carbohydrates and especially sugar-sweetened beverages are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but that the type of dietary fat is also very important,” he said.

 

The JAMA Internal Medicine paper relied on thousands of pages of correspondence and other documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.

 

The documents show that in 1964, John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in the industry to shift public opinion “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

 

At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of heart disease. At the same time, other scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were investigating a competing theory that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart disease.

 

Mr. Hickson proposed countering the alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,” he wrote.

 

In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that would debunk the anti-sugar studies. He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

 

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. “We are well aware of your particular interest,” he wrote, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

 

As they worked on their review, the Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson, who responded that he was pleased with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data on sugar as weak and given far more credence to the data implicating saturated fat.

 

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind, and we look forward to its appearance in print,” Mr. Hickson wrote.

 

After the review was published, the debate about sugar and heart disease died down, while low-fat diets gained the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.

 

“By today’s standards, they behaved very badly,” he said.

 

 


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#2 Sidestreet

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 04:49 AM

 

“By today’s standards, they behaved very badly,” he said.

 

 

Dr. Walter Willett said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s

 

 

Yes.  Nothing like this would ever happen today.  :|


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#3 wildedibles

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 08:22 AM


"The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department."


Shape our diatary guidelines eh?? Did anyone ever try and eat what "they" say we should eat following the food group guidelines? I find it off anyway........

I eat a high fat diet and way just over a 100lbs I do try and avoid processed sugar but love my fruits raw no extra sugar ......


we cannot eat just saturated fats tho we need good and bad fats ........ did you know we need colesterol in our joints helps lube them up .......... we canot really say good or bad fats they all have a role in the body ;) but can we say the same about sugar? well we do need some but I do not believe in highley processed foods anymore and well you get into the sugar talk and carbs are they allong for the ride too!!
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#4 riseabovethought

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 12:28 PM

The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association sing together perfectly in tune, 'Eat More Healthy Whole Grains,' louder than ever, since the -sugar's only bad for your teeth -argument fell through.  

 

Now that everyone who listened to them is fat and is pre-diabetic, we are slowly coming around to the idea that maybe sugar is bad for more than just our teeth- Hey!  Maybe its bad for our organs too!  And it is.  And whats more is how carbohydrates are broken down into complex and then simple sugars in our bodies, almost as if we arent really supposed to be eating grains at all.  But bread is in the bible!  -->But bread in the bible isnt the same bread as we have available to us in the store now.  Its quadruple the number of chromosomes and the seeds were chemically mutated by deadly caustic chemicals for better yields and better shelf life.  It isnt food.  And it isnt much better than sugar.  And all the substitutes are even worse.

 

A slice of bread spikes blood sugar as fast as 4 spoon fulls of straight sugar; meaning sugar and flour are the same inside the body as they are metabolized & both get too rapidly absorbed into the blood stream.  Carbohydrates should come from vegetables, not bread, pasta, and rice- which are empty calories.  Even whole grain bread and pasta are made from such processed flour that it gets stuck in our intestines and causes a chronic low grade inflammatory response, that dampens our immune system and accelerates aging- which is what diabetes type 2 is---> Age acceleration from sugar and flour: inedible foods that arent fully digested and arent fully excreted, so it sticks to walls and causes clogging in our (digestive and circulatory) systems.  It took me a long time to get around to that.  

 

If you want to know more about the heart - diabetes -sugar/flour connection, read a book by a heart surgeon called Wheat Belly.  Great book!

 

[Direct Link]

 

Anyway- its amazing how deep this kind of stuff gets us culturally.  We really do listen to our Drs who are telling us wrong.  Its cute, but its really sad too.  Most of them just didnt know better back then, but they should have.  Hence we must take responsibility for our own health and cant depend on Drs for nutrition advise.  The way kids were taught to look at white powder like cocaine- we should also see flour and sugar the same way- fine white powder gets absorbed rapidly like any drug- too rapidly, spikes blood sugar levels, & lights up the same opiate receptors as painkillers do.  Coincidence?


Edited by riseabovethought, 16 September 2016 - 09:37 AM.

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#5 Heirloom

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 07:55 PM

A nice thread. I believe sugar can be unhealthy and has a link to heart disease and other health problems.

The tobacco companies did there own research and found no health issues from tobacco use. Lung cancer was very rare a DR. might never have seen a case in normal practice. Then 20 years after the invention of the cigarette rolling machine and mass production along with advertising Dr.'s started seeing lung cancer quite often. That should of been enough proof to conclude the danger of tobacco.

As for wheat the breeding of wheat has increased protein especially gluten. I got some book on breeding and a simple cross can often result in a 5% increase in protein levels above either parent plant. This increase in protein has been increased much more though. This maybe causing some of the health problems people are having. A very common breeding tool used in grain breeding is the use of mutatagenic  chemicals - mutation breeding. The chemical used are extremely dangerous. After selection from the mutations they then use common breeding methods suck as crosses , back crosses, hybridization to achieve the desired goal.


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#6 wildedibles

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 06:41 AM

That's ok I thought there was a conspiricy going on here at my home lol the post I made up there got deleted after I posted it ;)

my kids turned off the internet while I was typing it I think the kids had me on radar and didnt want me to post anything negative against sugar so they turned off the internet lol

Im glad to see my post didnt just disapear tho :)
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#7 wildedibles

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 08:06 AM

:) Usually Im the one saying that the Dr dosent know too much about nutrition well some dont but I have found a good one among many
I asked him about fats :) well he said "fats are getting a bad name ......"
I asked about omega fats as some of us are getting confused here ;)

He mentioned that omega 6 we usually get enough in our diet or too much and this one can be pro inflammatory which can agravate arthritis and other diseases....... he mentioned too that omega 3s we do not get enough of the plant fats like hemp hearts or from fish sources....... omega 3s are soposed to be higher in our store bought meat but since our meat eats mostly grain that it is full of omega 6 instead throwing off the ballance

I have looked around for farm meat but most farms suppliment with grain even adding it to the milk to get them to eat grain and fatten up quicker need to keep looking for another bunch of farmers or spread the knowlidge ;) let your animals eat grass not too much grain ;)

I have been gluten free for a while now I tell people there is a reason its called GLUEten ;) it does act like glue in our bodys like paste on paper

#8 wildedibles

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 08:17 AM

A nice thread. I believe sugar can be unhealthy and has a link to heart disease and other health problems.
The tobacco companies did there own research and found no health issues from tobacco use. Lung cancer was very rare a DR. might never have seen a case in normal practice. Then 20 years after the invention of the cigarette rolling machine and mass production along with advertising Dr.'s started seeing lung cancer quite often. That should of been enough proof to conclude the danger of tobacco.
As for wheat the breeding of wheat has increased protein especially gluten. I got some book on breeding and a simple cross can often result in a 5% increase in protein levels above either parent plant. This increase in protein has been increased much more though. This maybe causing some of the health problems people are having. A very common breeding tool used in grain breeding is the use of mutatagenic  chemicals - mutation breeding. The chemical used are extremely dangerous. After selection from the mutations they then use common breeding methods suck as crosses , back crosses, hybridization to achieve the desired goal.


Gluten is one protien that has been uped in wheat or other grains to boost the power of making bread or dough to make it stay together and it is the problem when it comes to digestion .......if you are lacking the enzymes to break it down in the body it will not break down making problems not only in the digestive tract but also in the brain cause sugar / some water soulable fibers can cross the blood brain barrier

sprouted grains are soposed to be free of the gluten cause its in another stage of life the stored sugars and protiens are not stored anymore they have become avaiable for he "plant" to use to grow........ and you get the green coming out in the sprout ;) alive food
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