Sugar vs. Fat

In the 1960s, the sugar industry paid three Harvard scientists to publish a review of research on sugar vs. fat and their effects on heart disease. The Sugar Association paid the scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 today, cherry-picked the research included in the review; resulting in a biased article published in the New England Journal of Medicine stating that fat, rather than sugar, was the main culprit behind heart disease. One of the scientists, Dr. D. Mark Hegsted, went on to become head of nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he assisted in drafting what would become the country’s dietary guidelines. This manipulation by the food companies in nutrition science resulted in a long-term deleterious effect for the US, with likely millions of premature deaths and trillions of dollars wasted in healthcare.

Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents. Cristin E. Kearns, DDS, MBA; Laura A. Schmidt, Ph.D., MSW, MPH; Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1680-1685. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5394

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