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Coca-Cola får forskere til at overbevise os om, at fedme og kost ikke er så relateret

Coca-Cola får forskere til at overbevise os om, at fedme og kost ikke er så relateret


Den amerikanske drikkevaregigant Coca-Cola, verdens største producent af sukkersødede drikkevarer, har angiveligt slået sig sammen med en gruppe fremtrædende forskere for at fremme-gennem medicinske tidsskrifter, konferencer og sociale medier-tanken om, at motion er langt vigtigere for en sund vægt end kalorieforbrug.

Til dette formål har Coca-Cola ydet "økonomisk og logistisk støtte" til et nyetableret nonprofit, kaldet Global Energy Balance Network, "som fremmer argumentet om, at vægtbevidste amerikanere er overdrevent fikserede på, hvor meget de spiser og drikker, mens de ikke betaler nok opmærksomhed på træning, «ifølge The New York Times.

I en nylig videomeddelelse advarede netværkets vicepræsident: ”Det meste af fokus i de populære medier og i den videnskabelige presse er: 'Åh, de spiser for meget, spiser for meget, spiser for meget' - bebrejder fastfood, bebrejde sukkerholdige drikkevarer og så videre. Og der er faktisk stort set ingen overbevisende beviser for, at det faktisk er årsagen. ”

Mange folkesundhedsforkæmpere og læger siger imidlertid, at budskabet er dybt vildledende, og at Coke forsøger at minimere den etablerede sammenhæng mellem forbruget af SSB'er (sukkersødede drikkevarer) og sygdomme som fedme og diabetes.

I mellemtiden er amerikanerne også blevet stadig klogere på deres sodavandsindtag, hvilket fremgår af en konstant nedgang i sodavandssalget i løbet af de sidste mange år. American Beverage Association, der strittede imod beskyldningen om, at SSB'er kan bidrage til en dårlig kost, sagsøgte for nylig hele San Francisco for at have besluttet at indføre obligatoriske advarselsmærkater på reklamer for sukkerholdige drikkevarer.

"Coca-Colas salg falder, og der er denne enorme politiske og offentlige modreaktion mod sodavand, hvor hver større by forsøger at gøre noget for at dæmme op for forbruget," sagde Michele Simon, en sundhedsadvokat, til Times. ”Dette er et direkte svar på de måder, som virksomheden taber. De er desperate efter at stoppe blødningen. ”


Hvordan sukkerindustrien skiftede skylden til fedt

Sukkerindustrien betalte forskere i 1960'erne for at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesygdomme og fremme mættet fedt som synderen i stedet, viser nyligt frigivne historiske dokumenter.

De interne sukkerindustridokumenter, der for nylig blev opdaget af en forsker ved University of California, San Francisco og offentliggjort mandag i JAMA Internal Medicine, tyder på, at fem årtiers forskning i ernærings- og hjertesygdommens rolle, herunder mange af nutidens kostanbefalinger, kan i høj grad have været formet af sukkerindustrien.

"De var i stand til at afspore diskussionen om sukker i årtier," sagde Stanton Glantz, professor i medicin ved U.C.S.F. og forfatter til JAMA Internal Medicine papir.

Dokumenterne viser, at en handelsgruppe kaldet Sugar Research Foundation, i dag kendt som Sugar Association, betalte tre Harvard -forskere, hvad der svarer til omkring $ 50.000 i nutidens dollars for at offentliggøre en undersøgelse fra 1967 om sukker, fedt og hjertesygdomme. Undersøgelserne, der blev brugt i anmeldelsen, blev håndplukket af sukkergruppen, og artiklen, der blev offentliggjort i det prestigefyldte New England Journal of Medicine, minimerede sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesundhed og kastede aspekter af mættet fedts rolle.

Selvom den indflydelse, der afsløres i dokumenterne, går næsten 50 år tilbage, viser nyere rapporter, at fødevareindustrien fortsat har indflydelse på ernæringsvidenskab.

Sidste år afslørede en artikel i The New York Times, at Coca-Cola, verdens største producent af sukkerholdige drikkevarer, havde ydet millioner af dollars i finansiering til forskere, der forsøgte at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukkerholdige drikkevarer og fedme. I juni rapporterede Associated Press, at slikproducenter finansierede undersøgelser, der hævdede, at børn, der spiser slik, har en tendens til at veje mindre end dem, der ikke gør det.

Harvard -forskerne og de sukkerledere, som de samarbejdede med, lever ikke længere. En af forskerne, der blev betalt af sukkerindustrien, var D. Mark Hegsted, der blev ernæringschef i USA's Department of Agriculture, hvor han i 1977 hjalp med at udarbejde forløberen til den føderale regerings kostråd. En anden var Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, formanden for Harvards ernæringsafdeling.

I en erklæring, der svarede på JAMA -journalrapporten, sagde Sugar Association, at anmeldelsen fra 1967 blev offentliggjort på et tidspunkt, hvor medicinske tidsskrifter typisk ikke krævede forskere at oplyse finansieringskilder. New England Journal of Medicine begyndte først at kræve finansielle oplysninger indtil 1984.

Branchen "burde have udøvet større gennemsigtighed i alle sine forskningsaktiviteter," hedder det i erklæringen fra Sugar Association. Alligevel forsvarede den branchefinansieret forskning som en vigtig og informativ rolle i videnskabelig debat. Den sagde, at flere årtiers forskning havde konkluderet, at sukker "ikke har en unik rolle i hjertesygdomme."

Afsløringerne er vigtige, fordi debatten om de relative skader af sukker og mættet fedt fortsætter i dag, sagde Dr. Glantz. I mange årtier opfordrede sundhedsembedsmænd amerikanerne til at reducere deres fedtindtag, hvilket fik mange mennesker til at indtage fedtfattige fødevarer med et højt sukkerindhold, som nogle eksperter nu bebrejder for at sætte gang i fedmekrisen.

"Det var en meget smart ting, sukkerindustrien gjorde, fordi gennemgangspapirer, især hvis du får dem offentliggjort i et meget fremtrædende tidsskrift, har en tendens til at præge den overordnede videnskabelige diskussion," sagde han.

Dr. Hegsted brugte sin forskning til at påvirke regeringens kostanbefalinger, der understregede mættet fedt som en drivkraft for hjertesygdomme, mens det i høj grad karakteriserede sukker som tomme kalorier i forbindelse med huller i tænderne. I dag er advarslerne om mættet fedt stadig en hjørnesten i regeringens kostråd, selvom American Heart Association, World Health Organization og andre sundhedsmyndigheder i de senere år også er begyndt at advare om, at for meget tilsat sukker kan øge risikoen for hjerte -kar -sygdomme.

Marion Nestle, professor i ernæring, fødevarestudier og folkesundhed ved New York University, skrev en redaktionel ledsagelse af det nye papir, hvor hun sagde, at dokumenterne gav "overbevisende beviser" for, at sukkerindustrien havde påbegyndt forskning "udtrykkeligt for at frikende sukker som en stor risikofaktor for koronar hjertesygdom. ”

"Jeg synes, det er forfærdeligt," sagde hun. "Du ser bare aldrig eksempler, der er så åbenlyse."

Dr. Walter Willett, formand for ernæringsafdelingen ved Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, sagde, at akademiske interessekonfliktregler havde ændret sig væsentligt siden 1960'erne, men at branchepapirerne var en påmindelse om "hvorfor forskning skulle være støttet af offentlig finansiering frem for at afhænge af branchens finansiering. ”

Dr. Willett sagde, at forskerne havde begrænsede data til at vurdere de relative risici for sukker og fedt. "I betragtning af de data, vi har i dag, har vi vist, at de raffinerede kulhydrater og især sukkersødede drikkevarer er risikofaktorer for hjerte-kar-sygdomme, men at typen af ​​fedt i kosten også er meget vigtig," sagde han.

JAMA Internal Medicine -papiret støttede sig på tusinder af sider med korrespondance og andre dokumenter, som Cristin E. Kearns, en postdoktor ved UCSF, opdagede i arkiver ved Harvard, University of Illinois og andre biblioteker.

Dokumenterne viser, at John Hickson, en topchef i sukkerindustrien, i 1964 diskuterede en plan med andre i branchen om at ændre den offentlige mening "gennem vores forskning og information og lovgivningsprogrammer."

På det tidspunkt var undersøgelser begyndt at pege på en sammenhæng mellem sukkerfattige diæter og landets høje hjertesygdomme. På samme tid undersøgte andre forskere, herunder den fremtrædende Minnesota -fysiolog Ancel Keys, en konkurrerende teori om, at det var mættet fedt og kolesterol fra kosten, der udgjorde den største risiko for hjertesygdomme.

Mr. Hickson foreslog at modvirke de alarmerende fund om sukker med industrifinansieret forskning. "Så kan vi offentliggøre dataene og tilbagevise vores modstandere," skrev han.

I 1965 fik Hickson Harvard-forskerne til at skrive en anmeldelse, der ville aflaste antisukkerundersøgelserne. Han betalte dem i alt $ 6.500, svarende til $ 49.000 i dag. Mr. Hickson valgte papirerne til gennemgang og gjorde det klart, at han ønskede, at resultatet skulle favorisere sukker.

Harvards doktor Hegsted beroligede sukkerledere. "Vi er godt klar over din særlige interesse," skrev han, "og vil dække dette så godt vi kan."

Da de arbejdede på deres anmeldelse, delte og diskuterede Harvard -forskerne tidlige udkast med hr. Hickson, som svarede, at han var tilfreds med det, de skrev. Harvard -forskerne havde afvist dataene om sukker som svage og givet langt mere troværdighed til de data, der implicerede mættet fedt.

"Lad mig forsikre dig om, at det var det, vi havde i tankerne, og vi ser frem til at blive vist på tryk," skrev Hickson.

Efter at anmeldelsen blev offentliggjort, døde debatten om sukker og hjertesygdomme, mens fedtfattig kost fik godkendelse af mange sundhedsmyndigheder, sagde Dr. Glantz.


Hvordan sukkerindustrien skiftede skylden til fedt

Sukkerindustrien betalte forskere i 1960'erne for at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesygdomme og fremme mættet fedt som synderen i stedet, viser nyligt frigivne historiske dokumenter.

De interne sukkerindustridokumenter, der for nylig blev opdaget af en forsker ved University of California, San Francisco og offentliggjort mandag i JAMA Internal Medicine, tyder på, at fem årtiers forskning i ernærings- og hjertesygdommens rolle, herunder mange af nutidens kostanbefalinger, kan i høj grad have været formet af sukkerindustrien.

"De var i stand til at afspore diskussionen om sukker i årtier," sagde Stanton Glantz, professor i medicin ved U.C.S.F. og forfatter til JAMA Internal Medicine papir.

Dokumenterne viser, at en handelsgruppe kaldet Sugar Research Foundation, i dag kendt som Sugar Association, betalte tre Harvard -forskere, hvad der svarer til omkring $ 50.000 i nutidens dollars for at offentliggøre en undersøgelse fra 1967 om sukker, fedt og hjertesygdomme. Undersøgelserne, der blev brugt i anmeldelsen, blev håndplukket af sukkergruppen, og artiklen, der blev offentliggjort i det prestigefyldte New England Journal of Medicine, minimerede sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesundhed og kastede aspekter af mættet fedts rolle.

Selvom den indflydelse, der afsløres i dokumenterne, går næsten 50 år tilbage, viser nyere rapporter, at fødevareindustrien fortsat har indflydelse på ernæringsvidenskab.

Sidste år afslørede en artikel i The New York Times, at Coca-Cola, verdens største producent af sukkerholdige drikkevarer, havde ydet millioner af dollars i finansiering til forskere, der forsøgte at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukkerholdige drikkevarer og fedme. I juni rapporterede Associated Press, at slikproducenter finansierede undersøgelser, der hævdede, at børn, der spiser slik, har en tendens til at veje mindre end dem, der ikke gør det.

Harvard -forskerne og de sukkerledere, som de samarbejdede med, lever ikke længere. En af forskerne, der blev betalt af sukkerindustrien, var D. Mark Hegsted, der blev ernæringschef i USA's Department of Agriculture, hvor han i 1977 hjalp med at udarbejde forløberen til den føderale regerings kostråd. En anden var Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, formanden for Harvards ernæringsafdeling.

I en erklæring, der svarede på JAMA -journalrapporten, sagde Sugar Association, at anmeldelsen fra 1967 blev offentliggjort på et tidspunkt, hvor medicinske tidsskrifter typisk ikke krævede forskere at oplyse finansieringskilder. New England Journal of Medicine begyndte først at kræve finansielle oplysninger indtil 1984.

Branchen "burde have udøvet større gennemsigtighed i alle sine forskningsaktiviteter," hedder det fra Sugar Association -erklæringen. Alligevel forsvarede den branchefinansieret forskning som en vigtig og informativ rolle i videnskabelig debat. Den sagde, at flere årtiers forskning havde konkluderet, at sukker "ikke har en unik rolle i hjertesygdomme."

Afsløringerne er vigtige, fordi debatten om de relative skader af sukker og mættet fedt fortsætter i dag, sagde Dr. Glantz. I mange årtier opfordrede sundhedsembedsmænd amerikanerne til at reducere deres fedtindtag, hvilket fik mange mennesker til at indtage fedtfattige fødevarer med et højt sukkerindhold, som nogle eksperter nu bebrejder for at sætte gang i fedmekrisen.

"Det var en meget smart ting, sukkerindustrien gjorde, fordi gennemgangspapirer, især hvis du får dem offentliggjort i et meget fremtrædende tidsskrift, har en tendens til at præge den overordnede videnskabelige diskussion," sagde han.

Dr. Hegsted brugte sin forskning til at påvirke regeringens kostanbefalinger, der understregede mættet fedt som en drivkraft for hjertesygdomme, mens det i høj grad karakteriserede sukker som tomme kalorier i forbindelse med huller i tænderne. I dag er advarslerne om mættet fedt fortsat en hjørnesten i regeringens kostråd, selvom American Heart Association, World Health Organization og andre sundhedsmyndigheder i de senere år også er begyndt at advare om, at for meget tilsat sukker kan øge risikoen for hjerte -kar -sygdomme.

Marion Nestle, professor i ernæring, fødevarestudier og folkesundhed ved New York University, skrev en redaktionel ledsagelse af det nye papir, hvor hun sagde, at dokumenterne fremlagde "overbevisende beviser" for, at sukkerindustrien havde påbegyndt forskning "udtrykkeligt for at frikende sukker som en stor risikofaktor for koronar hjertesygdom. ”

"Jeg synes, det er forfærdeligt," sagde hun. "Du ser bare aldrig eksempler, der er så åbenlyse."

Dr. Walter Willett, formand for ernæringsafdelingen ved Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, sagde, at akademiske interessekonfliktregler havde ændret sig væsentligt siden 1960'erne, men at branchepapirerne var en påmindelse om "hvorfor forskning skulle være støttet af offentlig finansiering frem for at afhænge af branchens finansiering. ”

Dr. Willett sagde, at forskerne havde begrænsede data til at vurdere de relative risici for sukker og fedt. "I betragtning af de data, vi har i dag, har vi vist, at de raffinerede kulhydrater og især sukkersødede drikkevarer er risikofaktorer for hjerte-kar-sygdomme, men at typen af ​​fedt i kosten også er meget vigtig," sagde han.

JAMA Internal Medicine -papiret støttede sig på tusinder af sider med korrespondance og andre dokumenter, som Cristin E. Kearns, en postdoktor ved UCSF, opdagede i arkiver ved Harvard, University of Illinois og andre biblioteker.

Dokumenterne viser, at John Hickson, en topchef i sukkerindustrien, i 1964 diskuterede en plan med andre i branchen om at ændre den offentlige mening "gennem vores forskning og information og lovgivningsprogrammer."

På det tidspunkt var undersøgelser begyndt at pege på en sammenhæng mellem sukkerholdige diæter og landets høje hjertesygdomme. På samme tid undersøgte andre forskere, herunder den fremtrædende Minnesota -fysiolog Ancel Keys, en konkurrerende teori om, at det var mættet fedt og kolesterol fra kosten, der udgjorde den største risiko for hjertesygdomme.

Mr. Hickson foreslog at modvirke de alarmerende fund om sukker med industrifinansieret forskning. "Så kan vi offentliggøre dataene og tilbagevise vores modstandere," skrev han.

I 1965 fik Hickson Harvard-forskerne til at skrive en anmeldelse, der ville aflaste antisukkerundersøgelserne. Han betalte dem i alt $ 6.500, svarende til $ 49.000 i dag. Mr. Hickson valgte papirerne til gennemgang og gjorde det klart, at han ønskede, at resultatet skulle favorisere sukker.

Harvards doktor Hegsted beroligede sukkerledere. "Vi er godt klar over din særlige interesse," skrev han, "og vil dække dette så godt vi kan."

Da de arbejdede på deres anmeldelse, delte og diskuterede Harvard -forskerne tidlige udkast med hr. Hickson, som svarede, at han var tilfreds med det, de skrev. Harvard -forskerne havde afvist dataene om sukker som svage og givet langt mere troværdighed til de data, der implicerede mættet fedt.

"Lad mig forsikre dig om, at det var det, vi havde i tankerne, og vi ser frem til at blive vist på tryk," skrev Hickson.

Efter at anmeldelsen blev offentliggjort, døde debatten om sukker og hjertesygdomme, mens fedtfattig kost fik godkendelse af mange sundhedsmyndigheder, sagde Dr. Glantz.


Hvordan sukkerindustrien skiftede skylden til fedt

Sukkerindustrien betalte forskere i 1960'erne for at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesygdomme og fremme mættet fedt som synderen i stedet, viser nyligt frigivne historiske dokumenter.

De interne sukkerindustridokumenter, der for nylig blev opdaget af en forsker ved University of California, San Francisco, og offentliggjort mandag i JAMA Internal Medicine, tyder på, at fem årtiers forskning i ernærings- og hjertesygdommens rolle, herunder mange af nutidens kostanbefalinger, kan i høj grad have været formet af sukkerindustrien.

"De var i stand til at afspore diskussionen om sukker i årtier," sagde Stanton Glantz, professor i medicin ved U.C.S.F. og forfatter til JAMA Internal Medicine papir.

Dokumenterne viser, at en handelsgruppe kaldet Sugar Research Foundation, i dag kendt som Sugar Association, betalte tre Harvard -forskere, hvad der svarer til omkring $ 50.000 i nutidens dollars for at offentliggøre en undersøgelse fra 1967 om sukker, fedt og hjertesygdomme. Undersøgelserne, der blev brugt i gennemgangen, blev håndplukket af sukkergruppen, og artiklen, der blev offentliggjort i det prestigefyldte New England Journal of Medicine, minimerede sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesundhed og kastede aspersioner på mættet fedts rolle.

Selvom den indflydelse, der afsløres i dokumenterne, går næsten 50 år tilbage, viser nyere rapporter, at fødevareindustrien fortsat har indflydelse på ernæringsvidenskab.

Sidste år afslørede en artikel i The New York Times, at Coca-Cola, verdens største producent af sukkerholdige drikkevarer, havde ydet millioner af dollars i finansiering til forskere, der forsøgte at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukkerholdige drikkevarer og fedme. I juni rapporterede Associated Press, at slikproducenter finansierede undersøgelser, der hævdede, at børn, der spiser slik, har en tendens til at veje mindre end dem, der ikke gør det.

Harvard -forskerne og de sukkerledere, som de samarbejdede med, lever ikke længere. En af forskerne, der blev betalt af sukkerindustrien, var D. Mark Hegsted, der blev ernæringschef i USA's Department of Agriculture, hvor han i 1977 hjalp med at udarbejde forløberen til den føderale regerings kostråd. En anden var Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, formanden for Harvards ernæringsafdeling.

I en erklæring, der svarede på JAMA -journalrapporten, sagde Sugar Association, at anmeldelsen fra 1967 blev offentliggjort på et tidspunkt, hvor medicinske tidsskrifter typisk ikke krævede forskere at oplyse finansieringskilder. New England Journal of Medicine begyndte først at kræve finansielle oplysninger indtil 1984.

Branchen "burde have udøvet større gennemsigtighed i alle sine forskningsaktiviteter," hedder det i erklæringen fra Sugar Association. Alligevel forsvarede den branchefinansieret forskning som en vigtig og informativ rolle i videnskabelig debat. Den sagde, at flere årtiers forskning havde konkluderet, at sukker "ikke har en unik rolle i hjertesygdomme."

Afsløringerne er vigtige, fordi debatten om de relative skader af sukker og mættet fedt fortsætter i dag, sagde Dr. Glantz. I mange årtier opfordrede sundhedsembedsmænd amerikanerne til at reducere deres fedtindtag, hvilket fik mange mennesker til at indtage fedtfattige fødevarer med et højt sukkerindhold, som nogle eksperter nu bebrejder for at sætte gang i fedmekrisen.

"Det var en meget smart ting, sukkerindustrien gjorde, fordi gennemgangspapirer, især hvis du får dem offentliggjort i et meget fremtrædende tidsskrift, har en tendens til at præge den overordnede videnskabelige diskussion," sagde han.

Dr. Hegsted brugte sin forskning til at påvirke regeringens kostanbefalinger, der understregede mættet fedt som en drivkraft for hjertesygdomme, mens det i høj grad karakteriserede sukker som tomme kalorier forbundet med huller i tænderne. I dag er advarslerne om mættet fedt stadig en hjørnesten i regeringens kostråd, selvom American Heart Association, World Health Organization og andre sundhedsmyndigheder i de senere år også er begyndt at advare om, at for meget tilsat sukker kan øge risikoen for hjerte -kar -sygdomme.

Marion Nestle, professor i ernæring, fødevarestudier og folkesundhed ved New York University, skrev en redaktionel ledsagelse af det nye papir, hvor hun sagde, at dokumenterne gav "overbevisende beviser" for, at sukkerindustrien havde påbegyndt forskning "udtrykkeligt for at frikende sukker som en stor risikofaktor for koronar hjertesygdom. ”

"Jeg synes, det er forfærdeligt," sagde hun. "Du ser bare aldrig eksempler, der er så åbenlyse."

Dr. Walter Willett, formand for ernæringsafdelingen ved Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, sagde, at akademiske interessekonfliktregler havde ændret sig væsentligt siden 1960'erne, men at branchepapirerne var en påmindelse om "hvorfor forskning skulle være støttet af offentlig finansiering frem for at afhænge af branchens finansiering. ”

Dr. Willett sagde, at forskerne havde begrænsede data til at vurdere de relative risici for sukker og fedt. "I betragtning af de data, vi har i dag, har vi vist, at de raffinerede kulhydrater og især sukkersødede drikkevarer er risikofaktorer for hjerte-kar-sygdomme, men at typen af ​​fedt i kosten også er meget vigtig," sagde han.

JAMA Internal Medicine -papiret støttede sig på tusinder af sider med korrespondance og andre dokumenter, som Cristin E. Kearns, en postdoktor ved UCSF, opdagede i arkiver ved Harvard, University of Illinois og andre biblioteker.

Dokumenterne viser, at John Hickson, en topchef i sukkerindustrien, i 1964 diskuterede en plan med andre i branchen om at ændre den offentlige mening "gennem vores forskning og information og lovgivningsprogrammer."

På det tidspunkt var undersøgelser begyndt at pege på en sammenhæng mellem sukkerfattige diæter og landets høje hjertesygdomme. På samme tid undersøgte andre forskere, herunder den fremtrædende Minnesota -fysiolog Ancel Keys, en konkurrerende teori om, at det var mættet fedt og kolesterol fra kosten, der udgjorde den største risiko for hjertesygdomme.

Mr. Hickson foreslog at modvirke de alarmerende fund om sukker med industrifinansieret forskning. "Så kan vi offentliggøre dataene og tilbagevise vores modstandere," skrev han.

I 1965 fik Hickson Harvard-forskerne til at skrive en anmeldelse, der ville aflaste antisukkerundersøgelserne. Han betalte dem i alt $ 6.500, svarende til $ 49.000 i dag. Mr. Hickson valgte papirerne til gennemgang og gjorde det klart, at han ønskede, at resultatet skulle favorisere sukker.

Harvards doktor Hegsted beroligede sukkerledere. "Vi er godt klar over din særlige interesse," skrev han, "og vil dække dette så godt vi kan."

Da de arbejdede på deres anmeldelse, delte og diskuterede Harvard -forskerne tidlige udkast med hr. Hickson, som svarede, at han var tilfreds med det, de skrev. Harvard -forskerne havde afvist dataene om sukker som svage og givet langt mere troværdighed til de data, der implicerede mættet fedt.

"Lad mig forsikre dig om, at det var det, vi havde i tankerne, og vi ser frem til at blive vist på tryk," skrev Hickson.

Efter at anmeldelsen blev offentliggjort, døde debatten om sukker og hjertesygdomme, mens fedtfattig kost fik godkendelse af mange sundhedsmyndigheder, sagde Dr. Glantz.


Hvordan sukkerindustrien skiftede skylden til fedt

Sukkerindustrien betalte forskere i 1960'erne for at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesygdomme og fremme mættet fedt som synderen i stedet, viser nyligt frigivne historiske dokumenter.

De interne sukkerindustridokumenter, der for nylig blev opdaget af en forsker ved University of California, San Francisco og offentliggjort mandag i JAMA Internal Medicine, tyder på, at fem årtiers forskning i ernærings- og hjertesygdommens rolle, herunder mange af nutidens kostanbefalinger, kan i høj grad have været formet af sukkerindustrien.

"De var i stand til at afspore diskussionen om sukker i årtier," sagde Stanton Glantz, professor i medicin ved U.C.S.F. og forfatter til JAMA Internal Medicine papir.

Dokumenterne viser, at en handelsgruppe kaldet Sugar Research Foundation, i dag kendt som Sugar Association, betalte tre Harvard -forskere, hvad der svarer til omkring $ 50.000 i nutidens dollars for at offentliggøre en undersøgelse fra 1967 om sukker, fedt og hjertesygdomme. Undersøgelserne, der blev brugt i anmeldelsen, blev håndplukket af sukkergruppen, og artiklen, der blev offentliggjort i det prestigefyldte New England Journal of Medicine, minimerede sammenhængen mellem sukker og hjertesundhed og kastede aspekter af mættet fedts rolle.

Selvom den indflydelse, der afsløres i dokumenterne, går næsten 50 år tilbage, viser nyere rapporter, at fødevareindustrien fortsat har indflydelse på ernæringsvidenskab.

Sidste år afslørede en artikel i The New York Times, at Coca-Cola, verdens største producent af sukkerholdige drikkevarer, havde ydet millioner af dollars i finansiering til forskere, der forsøgte at nedbringe sammenhængen mellem sukkerholdige drikkevarer og fedme. I juni rapporterede Associated Press, at slikproducenter finansierede undersøgelser, der hævdede, at børn, der spiser slik, har en tendens til at veje mindre end dem, der ikke gør det.

Harvard -forskerne og de sukkerledere, som de samarbejdede med, lever ikke længere. En af forskerne, der blev betalt af sukkerindustrien, var D. Mark Hegsted, der blev ernæringschef i USA's Department of Agriculture, hvor han i 1977 hjalp med at udarbejde forløberen til den føderale regerings kostråd. En anden var Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, formanden for Harvards ernæringsafdeling.

I en erklæring, der svarede på JAMA -journalrapporten, sagde Sugar Association, at anmeldelsen fra 1967 blev offentliggjort på et tidspunkt, hvor medicinske tidsskrifter typisk ikke krævede forskere at oplyse finansieringskilder. New England Journal of Medicine begyndte først at kræve finansielle oplysninger indtil 1984.

Branchen "burde have udøvet større gennemsigtighed i alle sine forskningsaktiviteter," hedder det i erklæringen fra Sugar Association. Alligevel forsvarede den branchefinansieret forskning som en vigtig og informativ rolle i videnskabelig debat. Den sagde, at flere årtiers forskning havde konkluderet, at sukker "ikke har en unik rolle i hjertesygdomme."

Afsløringerne er vigtige, fordi debatten om de relative skader af sukker og mættet fedt fortsætter i dag, sagde Dr. Glantz. I mange årtier opfordrede sundhedsembedsmænd amerikanerne til at reducere deres fedtindtag, hvilket fik mange mennesker til at indtage fedtfattige fødevarer med et højt sukkerindhold, som nogle eksperter nu bebrejder for at sætte gang i fedmekrisen.

"Det var en meget smart ting sukkerindustrien gjorde, fordi gennemgangspapirer, især hvis du får dem offentliggjort i et meget fremtrædende tidsskrift, har en tendens til at præge den overordnede videnskabelige diskussion," sagde han.

Dr. Hegsted brugte sin forskning til at påvirke regeringens kostanbefalinger, der understregede mættet fedt som en drivkraft for hjertesygdomme, mens det i høj grad karakteriserede sukker som tomme kalorier forbundet med huller i tænderne. I dag er advarslerne om mættet fedt stadig en hjørnesten i regeringens kostråd, selvom American Heart Association, World Health Organization og andre sundhedsmyndigheder i de senere år også er begyndt at advare om, at for meget tilsat sukker kan øge risikoen for hjerte -kar -sygdomme.

Marion Nestle, professor i ernæring, fødevarestudier og folkesundhed ved New York University, skrev en redaktionel ledsagelse af det nye papir, hvor hun sagde, at dokumenterne gav "overbevisende beviser" for, at sukkerindustrien havde påbegyndt forskning "udtrykkeligt for at frikende sukker som en stor risikofaktor for koronar hjertesygdom. ”

"Jeg synes, det er forfærdeligt," sagde hun. "Du ser bare aldrig eksempler, der er så åbenlyse."

Dr. Walter Willett, formand for ernæringsafdelingen ved Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, sagde, at akademiske interessekonfliktregler havde ændret sig væsentligt siden 1960'erne, men at branchepapirerne var en påmindelse om "hvorfor forskning skulle være støttet af offentlig finansiering frem for at afhænge af branchens finansiering. ”

Dr. Willett sagde, at forskerne havde begrænsede data til at vurdere de relative risici for sukker og fedt. "I betragtning af de data, vi har i dag, har vi vist, at de raffinerede kulhydrater og især sukkersødede drikkevarer er risikofaktorer for hjerte-kar-sygdomme, men at typen af ​​fedt i kosten også er meget vigtig," sagde han.

JAMA Internal Medicine -papiret støttede sig på tusinder af sider med korrespondance og andre dokumenter, som Cristin E. Kearns, en postdoktor ved UCSF, opdagede i arkiver ved Harvard, University of Illinois og andre biblioteker.

Dokumenterne viser, at John Hickson, en topchef i sukkerindustrien, i 1964 diskuterede en plan med andre i branchen om at ændre den offentlige mening "gennem vores forskning og information og lovgivningsprogrammer."

På det tidspunkt var undersøgelser begyndt at pege på et forhold mellem sukkerholdige diæter og landets høje hjertesygdomme. På samme tid undersøgte andre forskere, herunder den fremtrædende Minnesota -fysiolog Ancel Keys, en konkurrerende teori om, at det var mættet fedt og kolesterol fra kosten, der udgjorde den største risiko for hjertesygdomme.

Mr. Hickson foreslog at modvirke de alarmerende fund om sukker med industrifinansieret forskning. "Så kan vi offentliggøre dataene og tilbagevise vores modstandere," skrev han.

I 1965 fik Hickson Harvard-forskerne til at skrive en anmeldelse, der ville aflaste antisukkerundersøgelserne. Han betalte dem i alt $ 6.500, svarende til $ 49.000 i dag. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. “We are well aware of your particular interest,” he wrote, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

As they worked on their review, the Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson, who responded that he was pleased with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data on sugar as weak and given far more credence to the data implicating saturated fat.

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind, and we look forward to its appearance in print,” Mr. Hickson wrote.

After the review was published, the debate about sugar and heart disease died down, while low-fat diets gained the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.


How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.

Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.

In a statement responding to the JAMA journal report, the Sugar Association said that the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals did not typically require researchers to disclose funding sources. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.

The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”

The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” he said.

Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wrote an editorial accompanying the new paper in which she said the documents provided “compelling evidence” that the sugar industry had initiated research “expressly to exonerate sugar as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.”

“I think it’s appalling,” she said. “You just never see examples that are this blatant.”

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s, but that the industry papers were a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.”

Dr. Willett said the researchers had limited data to assess the relative risks of sugar and fat. “Given the data that we have today, we have shown the refined carbohydrates and especially sugar-sweetened beverages are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but that the type of dietary fat is also very important,” he said.

The JAMA Internal Medicine paper relied on thousands of pages of correspondence and other documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.

The documents show that in 1964, John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in the industry to shift public opinion “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of heart disease. At the same time, other scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were investigating a competing theory that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart disease.

Mr. Hickson proposed countering the alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,” he wrote.

In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that would debunk the anti-sugar studies. He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. “We are well aware of your particular interest,” he wrote, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

As they worked on their review, the Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson, who responded that he was pleased with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data on sugar as weak and given far more credence to the data implicating saturated fat.

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind, and we look forward to its appearance in print,” Mr. Hickson wrote.

After the review was published, the debate about sugar and heart disease died down, while low-fat diets gained the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.


How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.

Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.

In a statement responding to the JAMA journal report, the Sugar Association said that the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals did not typically require researchers to disclose funding sources. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.

The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”

The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” he said.

Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wrote an editorial accompanying the new paper in which she said the documents provided “compelling evidence” that the sugar industry had initiated research “expressly to exonerate sugar as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.”

“I think it’s appalling,” she said. “You just never see examples that are this blatant.”

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s, but that the industry papers were a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.”

Dr. Willett said the researchers had limited data to assess the relative risks of sugar and fat. “Given the data that we have today, we have shown the refined carbohydrates and especially sugar-sweetened beverages are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but that the type of dietary fat is also very important,” he said.

The JAMA Internal Medicine paper relied on thousands of pages of correspondence and other documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.

The documents show that in 1964, John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in the industry to shift public opinion “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of heart disease. At the same time, other scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were investigating a competing theory that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart disease.

Mr. Hickson proposed countering the alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,” he wrote.

In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that would debunk the anti-sugar studies. He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. “We are well aware of your particular interest,” he wrote, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

As they worked on their review, the Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson, who responded that he was pleased with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data on sugar as weak and given far more credence to the data implicating saturated fat.

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind, and we look forward to its appearance in print,” Mr. Hickson wrote.

After the review was published, the debate about sugar and heart disease died down, while low-fat diets gained the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.


How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.

Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.

In a statement responding to the JAMA journal report, the Sugar Association said that the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals did not typically require researchers to disclose funding sources. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.

The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”

The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” he said.

Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wrote an editorial accompanying the new paper in which she said the documents provided “compelling evidence” that the sugar industry had initiated research “expressly to exonerate sugar as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.”

“I think it’s appalling,” she said. “You just never see examples that are this blatant.”

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s, but that the industry papers were a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.”

Dr. Willett said the researchers had limited data to assess the relative risks of sugar and fat. “Given the data that we have today, we have shown the refined carbohydrates and especially sugar-sweetened beverages are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but that the type of dietary fat is also very important,” he said.

The JAMA Internal Medicine paper relied on thousands of pages of correspondence and other documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.

The documents show that in 1964, John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in the industry to shift public opinion “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of heart disease. At the same time, other scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were investigating a competing theory that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart disease.

Mr. Hickson proposed countering the alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,” he wrote.

In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that would debunk the anti-sugar studies. He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. “We are well aware of your particular interest,” he wrote, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

As they worked on their review, the Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson, who responded that he was pleased with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data on sugar as weak and given far more credence to the data implicating saturated fat.

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind, and we look forward to its appearance in print,” Mr. Hickson wrote.

After the review was published, the debate about sugar and heart disease died down, while low-fat diets gained the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.


How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.

Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.

In a statement responding to the JAMA journal report, the Sugar Association said that the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals did not typically require researchers to disclose funding sources. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.

The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”

The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” he said.

Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wrote an editorial accompanying the new paper in which she said the documents provided “compelling evidence” that the sugar industry had initiated research “expressly to exonerate sugar as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.”

“I think it’s appalling,” she said. “You just never see examples that are this blatant.”

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s, but that the industry papers were a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.”

Dr. Willett said the researchers had limited data to assess the relative risks of sugar and fat. “Given the data that we have today, we have shown the refined carbohydrates and especially sugar-sweetened beverages are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but that the type of dietary fat is also very important,” he said.

The JAMA Internal Medicine paper relied on thousands of pages of correspondence and other documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.

The documents show that in 1964, John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in the industry to shift public opinion “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of heart disease. At the same time, other scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were investigating a competing theory that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart disease.

Mr. Hickson proposed countering the alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,” he wrote.

In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that would debunk the anti-sugar studies. He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. “We are well aware of your particular interest,” he wrote, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

As they worked on their review, the Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson, who responded that he was pleased with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data on sugar as weak and given far more credence to the data implicating saturated fat.

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind, and we look forward to its appearance in print,” Mr. Hickson wrote.

After the review was published, the debate about sugar and heart disease died down, while low-fat diets gained the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.


How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.

Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.

In a statement responding to the JAMA journal report, the Sugar Association said that the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals did not typically require researchers to disclose funding sources. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.

The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”

The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” he said.

Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wrote an editorial accompanying the new paper in which she said the documents provided “compelling evidence” that the sugar industry had initiated research “expressly to exonerate sugar as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.”

“I think it’s appalling,” she said. “You just never see examples that are this blatant.”

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s, but that the industry papers were a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.”

Dr. Willett said the researchers had limited data to assess the relative risks of sugar and fat. “Given the data that we have today, we have shown the refined carbohydrates and especially sugar-sweetened beverages are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but that the type of dietary fat is also very important,” he said.

The JAMA Internal Medicine paper relied on thousands of pages of correspondence and other documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.

The documents show that in 1964, John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in the industry to shift public opinion “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of heart disease. At the same time, other scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were investigating a competing theory that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart disease.

Mr. Hickson proposed countering the alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,” he wrote.

In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that would debunk the anti-sugar studies. He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. “We are well aware of your particular interest,” he wrote, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

As they worked on their review, the Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson, who responded that he was pleased with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data on sugar as weak and given far more credence to the data implicating saturated fat.

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind, and we look forward to its appearance in print,” Mr. Hickson wrote.

After the review was published, the debate about sugar and heart disease died down, while low-fat diets gained the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.


How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.

Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Another was Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.

In a statement responding to the JAMA journal report, the Sugar Association said that the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals did not typically require researchers to disclose funding sources. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.

The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”

The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” he said.

Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wrote an editorial accompanying the new paper in which she said the documents provided “compelling evidence” that the sugar industry had initiated research “expressly to exonerate sugar as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.”

“I think it’s appalling,” she said. “You just never see examples that are this blatant.”

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that academic conflict-of-interest rules had changed significantly since the 1960s, but that the industry papers were a reminder of “why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.”

Dr. Willett said the researchers had limited data to assess the relative risks of sugar and fat. “Given the data that we have today, we have shown the refined carbohydrates and especially sugar-sweetened beverages are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but that the type of dietary fat is also very important,” he said.

The JAMA Internal Medicine paper relied on thousands of pages of correspondence and other documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.

The documents show that in 1964, John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in the industry to shift public opinion “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of heart disease. At the same time, other scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were investigating a competing theory that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart disease.

Mr. Hickson proposed countering the alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,” he wrote.

In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that would debunk the anti-sugar studies. He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.

Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the sugar executives. "Vi er godt klar over din særlige interesse," skrev han, "og vil dække dette så godt vi kan."

Da de arbejdede på deres anmeldelse, delte og diskuterede Harvard -forskerne tidlige udkast med hr. Hickson, som svarede, at han var tilfreds med det, de skrev. Harvard -forskerne havde afvist dataene om sukker som svage og givet langt mere troværdighed til de data, der implicerede mættet fedt.

"Lad mig forsikre dig om, at det var det, vi havde i tankerne, og vi ser frem til at blive vist på tryk," skrev Hickson.

Efter at anmeldelsen blev offentliggjort, døde debatten om sukker og hjertesygdomme, mens fedtfattig kost fik godkendelse af mange sundhedsmyndigheder, sagde Dr. Glantz.


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