Recent news out of the University of California in San Francisco brought forth some shocking allegations against the sugar industry when it came across animal research and clinical trials from the 1960’s that had been conducted to gain an understanding of the effects of sugar on cardiovascular health. Uncovering the data itself was not the shocking part, but the fact that the sugar industry efficiently buried the data to keep consumers purchasing and consuming sugar, is.
The sugar industry has long maintained that sugar consumption bares no impact on the promotion of heart disease, diabetes or obesity, despite the many studies that suggest otherwise, and this recent discovery of buried historical documentation further showcases that they genuinely do believe there is significant harm in consuming sugar.
The documents showcase that a group called the Sugar Research Foundation (today’s Sugar Association.) funded research projects that used animals to see if there was a connection between heart health and sugar, and what they found is that it not only promoted heart disease, but bladder cancer as well. Upon their findings, they decided never to publish the results and instead continue to churn out sugar-filled products and market them to our kids and us.
While the Sugar Association disputes the claims that they have been misleading the public, it has also recently been uncovered that they have led and funded multiple campaigns to counter the public’s negative perception of sugar, campaigns that are highly biased in their favor. One of the men in charge of the campaigns goes by John Hickson, a former sugar association executive that left the association to join the tobacco industry. Hickson has been known to have previously paid influential scientists from Harvard University to publish review papers in the late 60’s that minimized the connection between sugar and heart disease and instead put the blame on saturated fat despite all the evidence to the contrary. It begs the question, can we trust the Sugar Association at all, and how will this impact our kids moving forward?