The Sweet conspiracy

Big sugar bankrolled 1960s research pointing to fat as the biggest foe of heart health, study says

Candice Choi, The Associated Press | September 13, 2016 10:32 AM ET

NEW YORK — The sugar industry began funding research that cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease — in part by pointing the finger at fat — as early as the 1960s, according to an analysis of newly uncovered documents.

The analysis published Monday is based on correspondence between a sugar trade group and researchers at Harvard University, and is the latest example showing how food and beverage makers attempt to shape public understanding of nutrition.

In 1964, the group now known as the Sugar Association internally discussed a campaign to address “negative attitudes toward sugar” after studies began emerging linking sugar with heart disease, according to documents dug up from public archives. The following year the group approved “Project 226,” which entailed paying Harvard researchers today’s equivalent of US$48,900 for an article reviewing the scientific literature, supplying materials they wanted reviewed, and receiving drafts of the article.

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