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The sugar association’s victims

Jade Inglada, Lindsey Maeda and Trang Le

Jade Inglada, Lindsey Maeda and Trang Le

Jade Inglada, Lindsey Maeda and Trang Le

Meghan McGillicuddy, Staff Writer

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It was the 1960s and a wild epidemic was on the rise — a plethora of Americans, mostly adult men were consistently dying of coronary heart disease. Researchers were attempting to pinpoint whether the culprit behind the epidemic was caused by an excess in fat or sugar intake.

However, trade group the Sugar Association, wasn’t about to let the nation find out about a possible link between heart disease and sugar which, in turn, would make the company lose millions.

In 1967, The Sugar Association paid Harvard scientists $50,000 to downplay the role sugar plays in causing coronary heart disease.

If one consumes more than five percent of sugar as their total calorie intake for the day, it could lead to weight gain which is a leading cause of heart disease, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 1967 research on sugar, fat and heart disease by three Harvard scientists ended up being published in the notorious New England Journal of Medicine — and helped shape the way nutritional science viewed sugar.

The Sugar Association has effectively played a huge role in the deaths of millions of Americans as a result of making the nation think that fat — and not sugar — is the culprit behind heart disease. This is the reason most kinds of foods and drinks today are laden with unnecessarily high amounts of sugar. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. However, because of the Sugar Association’s role in manipulating dietary research in the 1960s, many Americans have no idea that sugar could one day end up killing them.

The significance of the 1960’s manipulation of nutritional information by the Sugar Association, which was brought to light by the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this month, is that there is no general agreement on how much sugar can be consumed by an individual without it contributing to heart disease.

In 2013, the American Heart Association set  the standard for sugar consumption: women should have six or less teaspoons a day, while a man’s daily sugar limit is nine. Potentially, new research may now find that even this amount can lead to coronary heart disease.

In an online statement published Sept. 16,  the Sugar Association claimed that they have never seen the documents Harvard produced in the 1960s. The trade group also claimed that, even today, there are no “unique links” between sugar and coronary heart disease.

However, the reason there is a lack of proof to possible “links” between sugar and heart disease is because of the Sugar Association’s influence on nutritional science 50 years ago – which shaped the way sugar is seen healthwise across the nation. 

The claims made by the present-day Sugar Association are questionable since the 1960s documents are publicly available online.

This company which was responsible for the research in the first place should be able to obtain the documents without any issues. What it comes down to is that the Sugar Association refuses to take the blame for the deluge of deaths their bribe has caused.

Furthermore, the trade group is most likely proud of its former leaders’ decision as the Sugar Association is a successful multi-million dollar company today. The company had and continues to have one motive: to sell more of their sugar products.  It seems that the company wants to avoid social grief and public backlash, therefore, admitting their faults is not in their best interest.

Yet, the 1960s weren’t the only era where the food industry influenced nutritional science — it continues to happen today.

According to a New York Times article titled “Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets,” written by Anahad O’Connor in January 2015, the soda industry — more specifically the Coca-Cola Company — began working on a study claiming that drinking diet soda can aid in weight loss since they have as few as zero calories in their beverages.

It could be that Coca-Cola’s study parallels that of the 1960s by hiding the truth from its consumers. 

The soda industry will try to promote their diet drinks as “healthy” by removing the calorie count and replacing calories with addictive, chemical sweeteners.

However, soda is far from being a healthy alternative to other beverages like – take a wild guess – water.

What corporate giants like the Coca-Cola Company don’t make clear for the public is that the reason they’re able to make sweet drinks devoid of calories is because of chemical sweeteners like aspartame — a substance that many Americans are allergic to.

It’s time companies that provide the nation with excessively sugary-products provide transparent and honest information to the masses — if they don’t, people will keep dying as a result of falsified information about the links between their products and diseases like obesity and coronary heart disease.

The world will never run out of a need for sugar, but the Sugar Association and other corporate giants need to make their money in an honest, ethical way that doesn’t manipulate the nutritional information necessary to save lives.

1 Comment

One Response to “The sugar association’s victims”

  1. Robert L. Kindelan on October 5th, 2016 2:10 pm

    Quote: “The world will never run out of a need for sugar.” Let’s see, today, I had no sugar, had bacon, eggs, raw milk, Shiite mushrooms, some greens . No sugar. Yesterday, no sugar. The day before, no sugar, etc., etc. When the word “Need” is used, to me that means must have. No, unless I’m a species all of my own, we do not need sugar. Pure cane in the plant may have some benefit. I don’t know. I like your article until I got to the part about needing sugar. Hmm., could that be an invitation to sugar sponsorship or simply adding it to prevent being savaged by sugar companies. What fools we be, it’s amazing.

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