Sugar industry sought to sugarcoat causes of heart disease | Science News

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Sugar industry sought to sugarcoat causes of heart disease

Payments revealed to authors of influential 1967 report touting fat and cholesterol as problems

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9:00am, September 25, 2016
spoon full of sugar

NOT SO SWEET  An influential scientific review published in the 1960s, which downplayed the role of sugar in heart disease, was written by researchers who were paid by the sugar industry.

Using records unearthed from library storage vaults, researchers recently revealed that the sugar industry paid nutrition experts from Harvard University to downplay studies linking sugar and heart disease. Although the incident happened in the 1960s, it appears to have helped redirect the scientific narrative for decades.

The documents — which include correspondence, symposium programs and annual reports — show that the Sugar Research Foundation (as it was named at the time) paid professors who wrote a two-part review in 1967 in the New England Journal of Medicine. That report was highly skeptical of the evidence linking sugar to cardiovascular problems but accepting of the role of fat. The now-deceased professors’ overall conclusion left “no doubt” that reducing the risk of heart disease was a matter of reducing saturated fat and cholesterol, according to

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