What The Industry Knew About Sugar’s Health Effects, But Didn’t Tell Us : The Salt : NPR


A brand new report reveals how the business influenced badysis within the 1960s to deflect considerations in regards to the affect of sugar on well being — together with pulling the plug on a examine it funded.

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Karen M. Romanko/Getty Images

A brand new report reveals how the business influenced badysis within the 1960s to deflect considerations in regards to the affect of sugar on well being — together with pulling the plug on a examine it funded.

Karen M. Romanko/Getty Images

Back within the 1960s, the truth that our diets affect the danger of coronary heart illness was nonetheless a brand new concept. And there was a debate in regards to the function of fat and the function of sugar.

The sugar business acquired concerned in efforts to affect this debate. “What the sugar industry successively did,” argues Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco, “is they shifted all of the blame onto fats.”

The business’s methods have been subtle, Glantz says, and are just like these of the tobacco business. For occasion, in 1965 an business group, the Sugar Research Foundation, secretly funded a scientific badessment that downplayed the proof that linked sugar consumption to blood fats ranges. The badessment was printed within the New England Journal of Medicine.

Now, what’s come to gentle in an investigation printed Tuesday within the journal PLOS Biology is that the business funded its personal badysis challenge, however by no means disclosed the findings.

Glantz and his collaborators, together with Cristin Kearns, an badistant professor at UCSF, evaluated a bunch of sugar business inside paperwork. Here’s what they discovered:

Back in 1968, the Sugar Research Foundation, a predecessor to the International Sugar Research Foundation, paid a researcher to steer a examine with lab animals.

50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat

Initial outcomes confirmed high-sugar weight loss plan elevated the animals’ triglyceride ranges, a kind of fats within the blood, via results on the intestine micro organism. In individuals, excessive triglycerides can improve the danger of coronary heart badaults and strokes. The examine additionally discovered that animals fed sugar had greater ranges of an enzyme related to bladder most cancers of their urine.

Sugar Shocked? The Rest Of Food Industry Pays For Lots Of Research, Too

The examine was halted earlier than it was accomplished. Glantz says the researcher requested for extra time to proceed the examine, however the Sugar Research Foundation pulled the plug on the challenge.

The Sugar Association, a commerce group primarily based in Washington, D.C., that has organizational ties to the Sugar Research Foundation, launched an announcement on this new investigation.

“The study in question ended for three reasons, none of which involved potential research findings,” the affiliation says. The badertion goes on to elucidate that the examine was over price range and delayed. “The delay overlapped with an organizational restructuring with the Sugar Research Foundation becoming a new entity, the International Sugar Research Foundation,” the badertion says.

The commerce group says sugar consumed carefully is a part of a balanced way of life, and in its badertion the group says “we remain committed to supporting research to further understand the role sugar plays in consumers’ evolving eating habits.”

But critics argue that the business remains to be making an attempt to decelerate the consensus on the well being dangers linked to sugar consumption. In the PLOS Biology paper, Glantz and his co-authors argue that the continued controversy surrounding sugar in our diets “may be rooted in more than 60 years of food and beverage industry manipulation of science.”

In current years, new proof has emerged that hyperlinks sugary diets to coronary heart illness. But might we’ve got gotten the message sooner?

UCSF’s Kearns argues that if the sugar business had printed its findings a long time in the past, it will have added to a rising physique of proof. “Had this information been made public, there would have been a lot more research scrutiny of sugar,” Kearns instructed us.

Kearns says the sugar business has “a lot of money and influence” and nonetheless makes use of its affect to forged doubt on the advice to restrict added sugars to not more than 10 p.c of each day energy.

In a commerce affiliation publication final yr, the president and CEO of the Sugar Association described this really helpful restrict on sugar, which is a part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as “scientifically out of bounds.”

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