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Sugar Industry Heart Study Pointed Finger at Fat as Disease Culprit

Image: Sugar Industry Heart Study Pointed Finger at Fat as Disease Culprit

A new study shows 1906s research that indicated fat was a bigger deal than sugar in heart disease was sponsored by the sugar industry. (Luis Ascui/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Sep 2016 02:23 PM

A new study shows the sugar industry in 1960s sponsored research that ultimately showed fat is a major cause of heart disease while downplaying evidence that linked sugar to heart disease.

The Sugar Research Foundation, now known as the Sugar Association, wanted to develop a campaign that addressed "negative attitudes toward sugar" as a result of other studies that were linking sugar to heart disease, Newsday reported. That study took place from 1965 to 1966.

The following year, the Sugar Association approved "Project 226," which entailed "paying Harvard researchers today’s equivalent of $48,900 for an article reviewing the scientific literature, supplying materials they wanted reviewed, and receiving drafts of the article,” Newsday said.

The 1967 research concluded there was “no doubt” that cholesterol and saturated fat were the causes of heart disease. According to Newsday, “the researchers overstated the consistency of the literature on fat and cholesterol.”

“I thought I had seen everything but this one floored me,” Marion Nestle of New York University, who wrote an editorial on the new findings, said, according to Reuters. “It was so blatant. And the ‘bribe’ was so big.”

“Funding research is ethical,” Nestle added. “Bribing researchers to produce the evidence you want is not.”

In Nestle’s study, she noted that she followed this research for decades, being led to believe that it was imperative to focus on “reducing saturated fat, not sugar, to prevent heart disease,” Newsday noted.

The Sugar Association gave the following statement to Reuters Health: “We acknowledge that the Sugar Research Foundation should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities, however, when the studies in question were published funding disclosures and transparency standards were not the norm they are today.”

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A new study shows the sugar industry in 1960s sponsored research that ultimately showed fat is a major cause of heart disease while downplaying evidence that linked sugar to heart disease.
sugar, industry, heart, study
286
2016-23-13
Tuesday, 13 Sep 2016 02:23 PM
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