The debate over the harmful effects of dietary fat, cholesterol and sugar dates back to the 1960s. The term “sugar conspiracy” caught fire when a Harvard review debunking sugar’s role in the explosion of coronary heart disease and obesity in the United States was revealed to be secretly funded by the sugar industry. However, many powerful food producers have backed influential nutritional studies since World War II. People who distrust the process and purpose of large nutritional studies, and question their results, may want to read this.
In this summary, you will learn
- How and why the term “sugar conspiracy” was coined,
- What kinds of data leading researchers use to shape US dietary guidelines, and
- Why the food industry has an ongoing interest, and a proper place, in funding nutritional research.
About the Authors
Gerald M. Oppenheimer is a historian of public health at City University of New York’s School of Public Health. David Merritt Johns is a doctoral student at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University.