MCEVOY MINUTE | How the Sugar Industry Won (and How We Lost)
Earlier this week, an article was published in JAMA Internal Medicine providing evidence that in the 1960s the sugar industry supplied funding for scientific research that identified fat and cholesterol as the main culprits of coronary heart disease, and downplayed the evidence that sugar consumption can also be linked to CHD. It is likely that this literature, sponsored by the Sugar Research Foundation and originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine, contributed to the rise of low-fat diet in the mid to late 1900s. Today, the American public consumes 25% more carbohydrates than we did in the 1970s, as we have turned away from fatty foods like nuts, meat, and cheese, and began to consume more grains, potatoes, and ‘low-fat’ versions of food. These ‘low-fat’ foods, marketed as the healthier option, are actually packed with salt and sugar to make them taste as good as the original option containing fat. The American Heart Association and the U.S. government, based on misleading information and studies that could not be replicated, perpetuated the idea that a low-fat diet would help reduce weight and risk of heart failure.