It seems like the sugar industry is not all sweetness and light, but on the contrary. Its secrets have been recently unveiled, as old documents have been discovered. It seems that sweets manufacturers paid nutritionists to hide the damaging effects of sweets on people’s health.
The documents were found by mistake by Dr. Cristin Kearns while she was searching for something else among the old books and documents of a Harvard library. The papers on the sugar industry date back to the 1960s when Harvard led some research on heart diseases and the causes which triggered them.
The old affair involves an influential group in the sugar industry, which paid Harvard specialists for the fake report. The scientists had to minimize the role of sugary products in triggering heart diseases, such as coronary heart disease. At the time, there were two such studies published in specialized journals.
Dr. Cristin Kearns wrote her own paper on the deal between Sugar Research Foundation and the two specialists in charged with the studies. Their names were Fredrick Stare and Mark Hegsted, respectively, and they are now deceased. It seems like the results of their studies were influenced by a sum of money equivalent to almost $50,000 today.
Since their studies didn’t include the damaging effects of sugary products, there had to be another reason for coronary heart disease. So what the scientists did was to exaggerate the effects of fat and cholesterol. However, they are still important factors which trigger heart diseases, but they are not the only ones.
According to specialists, the 1960s were the years of medical debates whether sugar or fat exposed consumers to greater risks. At the time, coronary heart disease was very common in the United States, especially among men. It seems like the sugar industry didn’t want to lose its’ customers and its’ credibility in front of them. Nevertheless, such a move doesn’t gain it the best reputation, either.
There are voices that claim that great companies today are still trying to influence nutrition studies, in one way or another. On the other hand, there are also specialists who don’t consider sugar to be the number one enemy when it comes to healthy eating habits. Further research will surely clarify the controversy for both specialists and consumers.
The recent discoveries made by Dr. Cristin Kearns were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
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