Summary of How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

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Health writer Anahad O’Connor reveals that in the 1960s, the sugar industry paid for Harvard researchers to exonerate sugar as a cause of heart disease and to place the blame on saturated fat instead. Although that cooperation between scientists and industry representatives is an extreme example of biased research, O’Connor emphasizes that the food industry’s influence on research is ongoing. getAbstract prescribes taking nutrition research and any resulting dietary guidelines with a pinch of salt rather than a spoonful of sugar.

About the Author

New York Times reporter Anahad O’Connor writes about science, health, diet and national issues. He is the author of the best-selling book The 10 Things You Need to Eat.



A University of California researcher recently uncovered documents that revealed that the sugar industry had paid scientists to whitewash the role of sugar in heart disease and instead to blame saturated fat.

In 1964, top sugar executive John Hickson planned to use forged science to change sugar’s image. Several researchers had started to expose a link between high sugar consumption and heart disease. Other scientists were countering that research with studies into saturated fat and cholesterol. Hickson paid Harvard researchers the equivalent...

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