16 September 2016

How the sugar industry influenced public policy

An abstract from this week's issue of JAMA:
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.

1 comment:

  1. I just happen to be reading James Michener's' "Caribbean." It is historical fiction, but as you are no doubt aware, he put a lot of historical research into his books. He wrote of how the "sugar interest" in Jamaica--the English sugar growers--so influenced Great Britain's policy that, via the Sugar Tax--it contributed to the American Revolution.

    Further, he mentioned how the growers in the colony of Jamaica often held seats in Parliament, but that the American colonies did not. While this worked against America in the short run, in the long run, the fact that Americans were educated in America, grew up together (so to speak), and worked in their own governments instead of Great Britain's, it worked FOR America at some point, as it likely contributed to us having had greater success with our new government than would have been likely otherwise. Just a thought....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...