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Sugar Industry Intrigue!

berliner-breakfast-bun-cake-41300By now, we’re used to the large pharmaceutical companies influencing research and public health policy for profit.  Unfortunately the food industry is guilty of similar strategies.  Last week, the CBC published a very interesting article describing how in the 1960’s the sugar industry influenced research conducted at Harvard and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The purpose of their efforts was to shift the blame for increasing heart attack rates away from sugar onto cholesterol and fats.  It worked very well.  People started to watch their fat intake.  Low fat products (high in sugar) flooded the market, and heart attack rates continued to skyrocket.  It wasn’t until the last 10-15 years that more and more research has confirmed that dietary cholesterol is not a significant risk factor, but high sugar intake seems to be.  High saturated fat intake is still a concern, but it is recognized that healthy fats are a very important part of a healthy diet.

So for 40-50 years the sugar industry was able to shift the average North American’s diet in a direction much more likely to cause heart disease, with just a small effort, all in the quest for bigger profits.  How many deaths did those executives help cause?

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