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Medicine United States Science

How the Sugar Industry Tried To Hide Health Effects of Its Product 50 Years Ago ( 283

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: 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 Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, recently analyzed historical documents regarding a rat study called Project 259 that was launched in 1968.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. The study in question investigated the relationship between sugars and certain blood fats called triglycerides, which increase the risk of heart disease. The preliminary results from the research, called 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.
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How the Sugar Industry Tried To Hide Health Effects of Its Product 50 Years Ago

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  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @11:45PM (#55600605)

    Read some of crusader Gary Taube's books to find out how institutions like Harvard and many more succumbed to industry research money that makes sugary foods an integral part of today's diet and yes, the ubiquitous Food Pyramid. Bought.And.Paid.For.

    Sugar's an addictive drug, like opoids, nicotine, even social media and gaming. This is one of the US's favorite business models: addiction-- Profit!!

    • by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @11:53PM (#55600623) Homepage
      The love of money is the most addictive. Nicotine, heroin, opioids, sex, and all the others pale in comparison.

      It makes me wonder if the same universities are doing the same thing today with other "research" - bought and paid for.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Considering how people will beg, borrow, or steal to get some drugs they're addicted to, I think you might have overestimated the addictiveness of money.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Bankers go begging everyday in wholesale money markets to borrow. Or they just steal, as in Wells Fargo ...

      • Probably because I can't get heroin without money.
    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      Not wanting to sound like a internet wacko, but i bet there are certain things about soy that those institutions are hiding.

    • Not just that.

      Read up on John Yudkin, who warned everyone about this exact issue in the 70s and whose life was systematically destroyed in retaliation by the sugar industry.
  • by boudie2 ( 1134233 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @12:06AM (#55600649)
    Started out as a kid, before I knew it was hooked on Cap'n Crunch. Within a few years it was harder stuff - twinkies, mars bars, ju jubes. There's no end. Before it hit me, I was buying up chocolate bunnies after easter and binging on them for days and was looking forward to Christmas only for the delicious Turtles. And they say it's not a drug. They're crazy.
    • And they're eager to leverage one addiction into many - witness the many caffeinated sugar drinks. Heck, they used to make Coca Cola with actual cocaine.

      • And they're eager to leverage one addiction into many - witness the many caffeinated sugar drinks. Heck, they used to make Coca Cola with actual cocaine.

        The good old days. Apparently back at that time Coca-Cola was green. Even today they're the only company that can process cocaine to take out the active ingredient and use it for flavoring.

    • Re:Wasn't my fault (Score:5, Interesting)

      by blindseer ( 891256 ) <{ten.knilhtrae} {ta} {reesdnilb}> on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @03:07AM (#55601231)

      I got addicted to Frosted Flakes in the Army. I never had Frosted Flakes as a kid, Mom just wouldn't buy it. When in garrison we'd be given our choice of cereals at the dining facility and I'd just pick what I grew up with, shredded wheat. It started with the day we had field chow and they ran out of shredded wheat. When in the field we didn't have much of a choice, it was often just Frosted Flakes or nothing.

      I didn't know what it was at first. I thought I just had a certain enjoyment of field training and sleeping under the stars. I looked forward to breakfast, which is normal since running around in the woods carrying a 50 pound rucksack can make a man tired and hungry. I then found myself eating Frosted Flakes when in garrison. When in the field I'd volunteer for chow duty so I could hide a box of Frosted Flakes for myself since sometimes we'd run out before I could eat, the people serving the food always ate last. Do you understand that? I volunteered for chow duty so I could eat Frosted Flakes!

      After my discharge I found myself eating Frosted Flakes every day for breakfast. One bowl at first. Then two. Then three. Some mornings I'd empty the whole box. It got real bad. I had to stop. So I quit cold turkey. It was real hard, I craved Frosted Flakes so bad.

      I still catch myself reaching for the Frosted Flakes at the grocery store only to stop myself at the last second. I had to stop going down that aisle. I can't even eat shredded wheat any more since it's next to the Frosted Flakes on the shelf. Now I only dare go as far down the aisle to get some oatmeal for breakfast. Sometimes I absentmindedly go down the aisle and I catch the sight of that tiger on the box calling for me to pick up the box and put it in my cart.

      Friends don't let friends eat Frosted Flakes.

      • You ever stop to think maybe you're just weird? Tons of people eat frosted flakes without getting obsessed.
        • You ever stop to think maybe you're just weird? Tons of people eat frosted flakes without getting obsessed.

          Don't take my little story too seriously. I exaggerated some for effect but Frosted Flakes are damned addicting. It is still something of a craving, that's true, but I can control myself. I rarely eat it any more, I pretty much lost any desire to just gobble it up. It's something of a comfort food now, something to eat when I've had a bad day or something.

      • Re:Wasn't my fault (Score:4, Informative)

        by steveha ( 103154 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @05:16AM (#55601593) Homepage

        I completely believe your story.

        I used to make myself an iced mocha drink every day. I had the recipe perfected: my favorite espresso beans, the right amount of Hershey's syrup, a particular brand of vanilla soy milk I liked, and ice. So good. About 400 Calories (more properly: kcal) and almost all of the Calories from sugar.

        I looked forward to drinking that every day. Some days I had two.

        Then I read a book called Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle [] that convinced me that refined carbs were a bad idea in general, and sugar a bad idea in particular. I had heard/read a lot of conflicting things about diet ("sugar is bad for you! no, fat is what you must avoid!") and this book didn't have any single shocking new thing, but put all the pieces together convincingly.

        At the time my blood triglycerides level was worryingly high. From the book, I believed my diet was a major contributing factor, and I needed to stop enjoying my daily iced mochas.

        When I stopped I really missed them. When I wasn't allowing myself to have them I started to really crave them.

        I started drinking my espresso shots straight-up. No sugar, no milk, just espresso into my mouth. I figured: lots of people like black coffee; maybe I could learn to like it. After about a month I got used to the taste of coffee and started to like it. These days I drink strong coffee instead of straight-up espresso just so it takes a bit longer to drink and I have more time to enjoy it.

        My blood triglycerides level went back down, by the way.

        I think you had a more extreme case of this than I did, but I felt similar cravings and I totally believe your story.

        • Bitchin' Hot Cocomoka
          1 can mae ploy coconut cream
          3 heaping tablespoons quality cocoa (ghirardelli's majestic cocoa is... majestic)
          1 shot amaretto (optional but not really)
          2 shots espresso
          2 heaping tablespoons erithritol
          ~1/2 tsp stevia powder (to taste)

          Combine in saucepan, heat on medium and whisk until steaming. Serves 2-4 depending on greed. Stupid chocolatey. Fairly low carb. Stevia and erithritol may both actually help you regulate blood sugar levels, and are the only alternate sweeteners I'm aware of wi

      • Um, it's really nothing more than baked corn chips with sugar coating.

        I don't think it's really addiction, but the lack of really tasty food. Eating shredded wheat sounds about the same as eating potato raw. Both have a unique taste but not that great.

        Maybe you should try to buy, make or cook food that is better tasted, or at least better than frosted flakes, then you'll stop the crave and become a food expert.

      • Frosted flakes? They're Grrr-eat!! If you think they're a kick in the pants, try Froot Loops. You'll be tripping.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      You are Funny, because it is true. Try to light a cigarette on TV and the world collapses, but a kid eating sugar and getting a lot of energy? Now that is cute:funny (and not true).
      Try to cut on sugar for a week. That means reading and understanding the labels. Harder than you think.

      • Ever seen the sugar in ketchup? No wonder it's so good on French Fries .... sugar & salt combined! It's everywhere.
  • by hambone142 ( 2551854 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @12:29AM (#55600713)

    Everything in moderation.

    My sister raised her kids on candy, cookies and baking goods. She wanted to please them but they all ended up with a lot of cavities and they're fat. Along with the sugar is fat. Lots of it. They love to smother things with cheese. Also the baked goods have a lot of fat (mostly butter). When we were raised, our mother liked to bake and the products were pleasing delicacies It was fun but I got more cavities than I should have.

    Now, I drink a couple of sodas per day but not to excess. I get some exercise and don't eat high fat foods. I'm doing fine. Just had my checkup and my physician commented that my cholesterol and blood work looks fine.

    I despise artificial sweeteners. They leave bad aftertaste IMHO.

    Again, moderation is the key. Sugar ain't all that bad.

    • by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @12:58AM (#55600855)

      Have you ever looked at ingredients for stuff? Sugar is in EVERYTHING. Even stuff you wouldn't expect - like milk, or most peanut butter.

    • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @01:31AM (#55600979)

      A couple of sodas a day is moderation? lolwut? Just one 12 oz. Coca-Cola has over 40 g of sugar. Even only 2 cans a day is over 80 g of sugar and that’s not even remotely a “moderate amount.”

    • I drink a couple of sodas per day but not to excess.

      A couple of sodas (assuming the regular sugary kind) is excess. The WHO recommendation is not more than 25 grams of sugar per day. One can of regular soda is typically already 30 grams or more (depends on the brand and country).

    • Your sister could have fed them sugar and just counted calories, they wouldn't be fat. I can't say the same about cavities. There are only 3 types of(eaten) food energy; carbs, fats and protein.

      They all 'pay' different amounts of calories. So saying one makes you fat is like saying you only earn money with $20 bills.

      • Your sister could have fed them sugar and just counted calories, they wouldn't be fat

        Spoken like someone without kids. If your children are complaining all day that they are hungry, are you going to stop them from eating because they hit the calorie count for the day ? How do you figure out an proper calorie count for a growing kid ? Some days they are more active than others, some days they may be sick, other days they may be going through a growth spurt.

        Calorie counting is not a practical method. A much better method is give them healthy wholesome food that they can eat to satiety.

        • This. I count calories reasonably well and the calories my kid eats are off-the-chain crazy. As an example, at 9 months old she weighed in at ~23 pounds (big, but not exceptional) and was generally developing well. Here is a reasonably typical mealplan for her:
          - 8 oz milk, 2 eggs (400 calories)
          - rice cake, 8 oz milk (200 calories)
          - banana (?!), 8 oz milk (250 calories)
          - mini-quesadilla || 2 cups Cheerios, 8 oz milk (400 calories)
          ~1250 calories for the day.

          There is a b

    • You'd be surprised just what of our food contains sugar in one form or another. IIRC they made a test with some burger joints and the only thing that did NOT contain sugar there were the sugar-free sodas and the salad, provided you forgo dressing.

      • Go back to the US after spending a few years overseas. You will be astounded by how sickeningly sweet nearly everything tastes.

      • You'd be surprised just what of our food contains sugar in one form or another.

        Practically all processed foods include sugar. The really insidious thing is using HFCS to replace vegetable oil, because it keeps longer and has similar textural effects in some foods. They use citric acid to kill the sweetness. Citric acid is a fine thing in small quantities, actually good for you. In large ones, though, it's the opposite.

  • Yeah...I EAT MEAT!

    Low Carbohydrates and pretty much any meat I want.

    I just WORKS!

  • by will_die ( 586523 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @01:25AM (#55600943) Homepage
    First it was liquor and tobacco were bad for you now it is also sugar. How is anyone to live a vegan lifestyle?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @01:30AM (#55600967)

    Eat only bread and fish. Drink only water and wine. I call it the Jesus diet. Have you ever seen a Jesus statue that wasn't lean with 6 pack abs? Of course, longevity only ensured for 30-35 years, YMMV.

    • The Jesus diet: eat anything you want, as long as you created it yourself.

    • That isn't fair since the EOL in this trial was an act of God
    • Eat only bread and fish. Drink only water and wine. I call it the Jesus diet. Have you ever seen a Jesus statue that wasn't lean with 6 pack abs? Of course, longevity only ensured for 30-35 years, YMMV.

      Longevity not verified for more than 33 years. The actual cause of death was unrelated to diet.

      It could be time travel related. It is near certain he was born 4 or 6 years before he was born. (Based on the executions ordered by King Herod that fell on a particular well recorded Jewish feast day).

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @03:08AM (#55601237) Journal
  • Fuck, they're still doing it RIGHT NOW!

  • Much of the prepared food we eat is engineered for maximum firing of the satisfaction areas of the brain. From our hunter gatherer days, when food was not on a shelf, the body came to relate high energy foods as something that tasted good. You weren't sure when the next meal was coming along, so the one you were eating now better be loaded with energy to cover you for awhile. High energy foods are high in fat and sugar. That's why a plate of green beans doesn't taste as good until you slap some butter

New systems generate new problems.