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Sugar Industry Paid Big Bucks for Biased Studies

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire

The sugar industry has a checkered history, especially in North America. A new study shows the dark side of the relationship between US sugar producers from the ’60s and scientists researching the negative effects of the so-called ‘white poison’. The study uncovered that the sugar industry paid big bucks for biased studies.

$50,000 to blame on the fats

The research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine and claims that scientists were paid big bucks back in the ’60s to minimize the link between sugar consumption and heart diseases.

Researchers from the University of San Francisco have recently found several documents showing that scientists from former Sugar Research Foundation (SRF), today is known as The Sugar Association, would have paid other scientists to draw up in 1967 a study to dispute the idea that sugar may cause heart problems and turn everyone’s attention to fats. Basically, the scientists pointed that fats and the cholesterol are main causes of health diseases, so distracting the attention from sucrose.

SRF funded the ‘research’ and the results had to match with SRF agenda before being published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The three scientists from Harvard who worked on that ‘research’ received the equivalent of $50,000 (in current money).

Besides, Marion Nestle, the well-known nutrition expert and public health expert at New York University, once said that the food industry continues to influence the science of nutrition, in an editorial published with the study, and quoted by The Guardian.

Nestle also said that it’s almost impossible to keep up with food producing companies, which sponsor different researches to obtain results according to their agenda. This category includes manufacturers of processed foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and those who provide milk, fruits, or vegetables. Even if not all of these sponsored researches are not necessarily intending to manipulate, they do alter the public confidence in scientific knowledge and mislead the public regarding the food that is necessary for a healthy diet.

Sugar Association admitted in a statement saying that SRF should have been more transparent with the research, but it also accused scientists from the University of San Francisco of an anti-sugar attitude, stating that not only the sugar is responsible for heart diseases.

Unfortunately, scientists and executives involved in that study, which was brought back into attention thanks to documents found in the archives of a library by Cristin Kearns, are no longer alive, so there is no clarification coming directly from the source.

Another report shows that SRF could have bribed scientists in a similar manner similar to claim that sugar does not have a strong negative impact on the teeth.

Sugar is closely linked to heart disease, but this really was dismantled by researchers at Harvard, who pay the SRF, published a study in which they cut any connections between heart diseases and consumption of sugar.

How has this conspiracy been done?

Researchers have dated the concerns to SRF regarding the link between heart diseases and sugar, in 1962, when a board of Scientific Advisory put up a report which concluded that the research in developments of heart diseases should be examined in detail. So, appeared the first evidence of harmfulness of the sugar consumption on the heart health.

By July 1965 appeared more researches claiming that the link between sugar consumption and heart diseases is real. The studies have been published, but at the same time, the director of researches of the SRF, John Hickson, knocked on Harvard’s door, seeking for scientists willing to dismantle any link between sugar and adverse health effects.

That summer, Frederick Stare, the director of The School of Public Health and Nutrition of Harvard, tagged along with two colleagues for fulfilling the SRF’s agenda, under the code name of Project 226.

For $6,500 (the equivalent of $50,000 today) paid by the SRF, those three scientists published their own research report meant to cut the connection between sugar consumption and heart diseases, but not before SRF’s director, John Hickson, gave his OK for the results.

In 1967, the two pages report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluding that there shouldn’t be any doubt that in order to prevent heart diseases and other heart conditions the only solution is to reduce the consumption of food that is high in cholesterol and saturated fats.

In other words, ‘do not worry about sugar!‘.

Walter Willett, head of nutrition at the School of Public Health (Harvard) said Monday that the conflict of interest standards have changed significantly from the 60s onwards. He said that the article published in JAMA has provided “a warning useful that the funds provided by the industry are worrying in research as they represent a big influence on what is public” and observed that Congress has allocated increasingly fewer and fewer funds for research in the last decade.

An article in New York Times about how he blamed on fat sugar industry in terms of weight gain, obesity, and diseases associated with these conditions.

Sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to reduce the link between sugar and heart disease and to shift the blame on saturated fats, show documents just released to the public.

Internal documents of the sugar industry, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California and published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that many of the research done on nutrition and heart disease, including many of the nutritional recommendations still in force, were largely altered the sugar industry.

They could deviate talks about sugar for decades,” says Stanton Glantz a professor of medicine at the University of California. and author of the article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Documents show that a trade group called “Sugar Research Foundation”, known today as the “Sugar Association” paid three researchers from Harvard equivalent of $ 50,000 in cash today to publish in 1967 a document about research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used were chosen by the group associated with the sugar industry and the article published in the prestigious journal “New England Journal of Medicine”, weakened the link between sugar and heart disease and saturated fat slandered role in this issue.

Even if these documents show that the data were affected 50 years ago, recent reports show that food (all its branches, not only the sugar) continued to influence the science of nutrition.

The real effects of the sugar on humans health

Sugar primarily affects the brain and nervous system. A percentage of 60% of the glucose is used by the brain.

Fluctuations of the glucose levels can cause:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • nervousness
  • loss of memory
  • the decline in power
  • lack of concentration power
  • headaches
  • confusion
  • inability to make decisions
  • dizziness
  • antisocial behavior
  • chronic fatigue and lack of energy.

By eating sugar in every of its form the acidity in the mouth increases by 100 times, thus predisposing the teeth to decays.

Also, sugar consumption affects our eyes. An excess of sugar favors the onset of retinopathy.

Sugar may also affect the heart and the circulatory system. Sugar consumption is one of the most important causes of myocardial infarcts, increases the incidence of hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart diseases and palpitations.

Sugar affects the digestive system, causing the inflammation of the duodenum and creating a proper environment E.Coli bacteria development.

Since the sugar has begun to be used as food, in the late nineteenth century, a number of degenerative diseases have been in the forefront:

  • appendicitis
  • tonsillitis
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • peptic ulcer
  • diabetes
  • mental illness (especially depression)

Among the most common diseases caused by sugar consumption, are cardiovascular diseases due to the increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood upon sugar consumption.

Some skin conditions, particularly acne have a higher incidence in people who use to much sugar.

Some recent researches concluded that consumption of too much sugar can ease up the developments of tumors that may lead to different forms of cancers.

Diabetes is another common disease caused by excessive sugar consumption, among other causes.

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent non-transmissible chronic diseases and the most common endocrine disease. It is characterized by disorders of the entire metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and in particular, complications may appear which are affecting the eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels.

Essentially, diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it effectively.

Other cases in which fake researches were conducted

In 2015 an article in the New York Times all showed that Coca-Cola, one of the largest producers of sugary drinks, has invested millions of dollars in research showing that there is a link between obesity and soft drinks. Last July (2016) The Associated Press – the oldest and most prestigious association of news in the world – reported that manufacturers of candy funded studies that show how children who ate candy weighed less than those who did not consume.

The sugar It is not the first time when talking about obscure understandings between food producers and scientists. Recent investigations published by the Associated Press and New York Times talking about the same irregularities. For example, the AP revealed in June that the groups selling candy founded research on sweets and New York Times wrote last year about large investments that Coca-Cola would be allocated to research that cuts the connection between soft drinks and obesity.

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