White Death: Sugar By Mrs Vera West

     There is a very good article at the New York Times detailing the politics behind how the blame for ill health was shifted from sugar to fat. But now the truth is slowly starting to seep out. It is worth quoting from the article since for some magic reason I never hit the pay wall, so I am like a kid in a lolly shop … oops, wrong metaphor:
  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html

“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to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.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.”

     Here is the original scientific paper for all our peer review seekers. This goes to show the utter illusion of claiming that science is objective, since at best research results are skewed by the avenue and approaches taken, which influence the research methodology, and that all depends upon funding. Some questions do not get investigated because it would be too inconvenient for answers to be delivered that were contrary to vested interests:

“Early warning signals of the coronary heart disease (CHD) risk of sugar (sucrose) emerged in the 1950s. We examined Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) internal documents, historical reports, and statements relevant to early debates about the dietary causes of CHD and assembled findings chronologically into a narrative case study. The SRF sponsored its first CHD research project in 1965, a literature review published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which singled out fat and cholesterol as the dietary causes of CHD and downplayed evidence that sucrose consumption was also a risk factor. The SRF set the review’s objective, contributed articles for inclusion, and received drafts. The SRF’s funding and role was not disclosed. Together with other recent analyses of sugar industry documents, our findings suggest the industry sponsored a research program in the 1960s and 1970s that successfully cast doubt about the hazards of sucrose while promoting fat as the dietary culprit in CHD. 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.

JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1680-1685. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.539”

     So, a spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down, in a most delightful way. In fact, to much simply kills you.

 

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Thursday, 29 October 2020
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