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About 50 years ago, the sugar industry stopped funding research that began to show something they wanted to hide: that eating lots of sugar is linked to heart disease. A new study exposes the sugar industry’s decades-old effort to stifle that critical research.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, recently analyzed historical documents regarding a rat study called Project 259 that was launched in 1968. The study was funded by a sugar industry trade group called the International Sugar Research Foundation, or ISRF, and conducted by W. F. R. Pover at the University of Birmingham. When the preliminary findings from that study began to show that eating lots of sugar might be associated with heart disease, and even bladder cancer, the ISRF pulled the plug on the research. Without additional funding, the study was terminated and the results were never published, according to a study published today in PLOS Biology.
Researching the health effects of certain foods is critical because it helps shape the federal government’s dietary guidelines, which recommend how Americans should eat in order to prevent disease. But nutrition science is sometimes influenced by industry groups that have a stake in the results: in 2015, The New York Times reported that Coca-Cola had paid scientists to distract the public from the connection between sugary drinks and obesity. Last year, The Associated Press showed that candy makers also fund bogus research: one study showed that kids who eat candy weigh less than those who don’t.
Project 259, suggested that rats on a high-sugar diet, instead of a starch diet, had higher levels of triglycerides. The rats that ate lots of sugar also had higher levels of an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase in their urine, which at the time was thought to be potentially linked to bladder cancer, says study co-author Cristin Kearns, an assistant professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry.
The findings were described as “one of the first demonstrations of a biological difference between sucrose and starch fed rats,” according to the internal documents reviewed by the UCSF researchers. But after funding the research for 27 months, the International Sugar Research Foundation discontinued their support. So the study was never completed and the results were never published, according to the UCSF researchers. “Why would they want to fund research that would be against their interests? There’s no reason why they’d want to do that,” Nestle tells The Verge.
In a statement to The Verge, the Sugar Association — as the ISRF is known today — criticized the PLOS Biology paper, calling it not a study but a “perspective.” Project 259 was ended because it was “significantly delayed” and it was “consequently over budget,” the statement says. It adds: “Throughout its history, the Sugar Association has embraced scientific research and innovation in an attempt to learn as much as possible about sugar, diet, and health.”
originally posted by: Jefferton
Does anyone these days actually think sugar is good??
It is tasty though!
originally posted by: DontTreadOnMe
It really doesn't matter if we now know the evils of sugar [and excess carbs] in our diet.
What does matter is that this study...and likely many others...were aborted to keep products on the shelves.
For decades, we thought fat was the enemy, and not sugar.
That Frosted Mini Wheats were better for us than bacon and eggs.
And the FDA and USDA went along with it.