Video with Dr John Bergman – How to Have True Heart Health

Publicerades den 6 feb. 2015

How to Have True Heart Health Cholesterol does not cause heart attacks. There is no such thing as good or bad cholesterol. If an artery is “blocked” then why is there blood flow on the other side of the blockage?
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Article by Camila Domonoske: 50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat

I have posted a lot about sugar, here’s another article about that theme, from Camila Domonoske, posted 13 Sept 2016 at

50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to “refute” concerns about sugar’s possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding.

The sugar-funded project in question was a literature review, examining a variety of studies and experiments. It suggested there were major problems with all the studies that implicated sugar, and concluded that cutting fat out of American diets was the best way to address coronary heart disease.

The authors of the new article say that for the past five decades, the sugar industry has been attempting to influence the scientific debate over the relative risks of sugar and fat.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” co-author Stanton Glantz told The New York Times.

Money on the line

In the article, published Monday, authors Glantz, Cristin Kearns and Laura Schmidt aren’t trying make the case for a link between sugar and coronary heart disease. Their interest is in the process. They say the documents reveal the sugar industry attempting to influence scientific inquiry and debate.

The researchers note that they worked under some limitations — “We could not interview key actors involved in this historical episode because they have died,” they write. Other organizations were also advocating concerns about fat, they note.

There’s no evidence that the SRF directly edited the manuscript published by the Harvard scientists in 1967, but there is “circumstantial” evidence that the interests of the sugar lobby shaped the conclusions of the review, the researchers say.

For one thing, there’s motivation and intent. In 1954, the researchers note, the president of the SRF gave a speech describing a great business opportunity.

If Americans could be persuaded to eat a lower-fat diet — for the sake of their health — they would need to replace that fat with something else. America’s per capita sugar consumption could go up by a third.

But in the ’60s, the SRF became aware of “flowing reports that sugar is a less desirable dietary source of calories than other carbohydrates,” as John Hickson, SRF vice president and director of research, put it in one document.

He recommended that the industry fund its own studies — “Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors.”

The next year, after several scientific articles were published suggesting a link between sucrose and coronary heart disease, the SRF approved the literature-review project. It wound up paying approximately $50,000 in today’s dollars for the research.

One of the researchers was the chairman of Harvard’s Public Health Nutrition Department — and an ad hoc member of SRF’s board.

“A different standard” for different studies

Glantz, Kearns and Schmidt say many of the articles examined in the review were hand-selected by SRF, and it was implied that the sugar industry would expect them to be critiqued.

In a letter, SRF’s Hickson said that the organization’s “particular interest” was in evaluating studies focused on “carbohydrates in the form of sucrose.”

“We are well aware,” one of the scientists replied, “and will cover this as well as we can.”

The project wound up taking longer than expected, because more and more studies were being released that suggested sugar might be linked to coronary heart disease. But it was finally published in 1967.

Hickson was certainly happy with the result: “Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind and we look forward to its appearance in print,” he told one of the scientists.

The review minimized the significance of research that suggested sugar could play a role in coronary heart disease. In some cases the scientists alleged investigator incompetence or flawed methodology.

“It is always appropriate to question the validity of individual studies,” Kearns told Bloomberg via email. But, she says, “the authors applied a different standard” to different studies — looking very critically at research that implicated sugar, and ignoring problems with studies that found dangers in fat.

Epidemiological studies of sugar consumption — which look at patterns of health and disease in the real world — were dismissed for having too many possible factors getting in the way. Experimental studies were dismissed for being too dissimilar to real life.

One study that found a health benefit when people ate less sugar and more vegetables was dismissed because that dietary change was not feasible.

Another study, in which rats were given a diet low in fat and high in sugar, was rejected because “such diets are rarely consumed by man.”

The Harvard researchers then turned to studies that examined risks of fat — which included the same kind of epidemiological studies they had dismissed when it came to sugar.

Citing “few study characteristics and no quantitative results,” as Kearns, Glantz and Schmidt put it, they concluded that cutting out fat was “no doubt” the best dietary intervention to prevent coronary heart disease.

Sugar lobby: “Transparency standards were not the norm”

In a statement, the Sugar Association — which evolved out of the SRF — said it is challenging to comment on events from so long ago.

“We acknowledge that the Sugar Research Foundation should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities, however, when the studies in question were published funding disclosures and transparency standards were not the norm they are today,” the association said.

“Generally speaking, it is not only unfortunate but a disservice that industry-funded research is branded as tainted,” the statement continues. “What is often missing from the dialogue is that industry-funded research has been informative in addressing key issues.”

The documents in question are five decades old, but the larger issue is of the moment, as Marion Nestle notes in a commentary in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine:

“Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola’s cozy relationships with sponsored researcherswho were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. Even more recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not.”

As for the article authors who dug into the documents around this funding, they offer two suggestions for the future.

“Policymaking committees should consider giving less weight to food industry-funded studies,” they write.

They also call for new research into any ties between added sugars and coronary heart disease.

What does sugar do to our health – article from

For decades, research suggested that we should limit the amount of fat in our diets, but the latest medical thinking labels sugar as the real health villain.

Instead of avoiding fat, some cardiologists are encouraging patients to “embrace full fat dairy and other saturated fats”. Meanwhile, health experts and campaigners have set their sights on sugar, with calls for a tax on sugary drinks. According to recent reports, just one sugary hot drink provides more than doubleyour recommended daily intake.

What does sugar do to our health?

Research from the World Health Organisation has found that free sugars (that is, any sugar added to food or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups, and fruit juices), particularly in sugar-sweetened beverages, increase your overall energy intake and can lead to an unhealthy diet, weight gain and an increased risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and heart disease.

Sugar consumption has also been linked to diabetes and heart disease in children – Dr Robert Lustig, childhood obesity expert, author and “no sugar” advocate, found that “added sugar is 11 times more potent at causing diabetes than general calories”.

Sugar has also been linked to cancer. A 2013 study found that sugar consumption could trigger the formation of the hormone gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) that increases insulin levels. Insulin resistance has a well-documented connection with cancer.

On top of all this, we all know that excessive sugar intake causes tooth decay. 

Is sugar consumption on the rise?

Prior to the 19th century, sugar was a rare commodity, but with the introduction of new techniques to extract it the industry boomed, growing from a quarter of a million tons in 1800 to 8 million tons in 1900.

Since then sugar consumption has increased steadily. By 1993, more than 110 million tons of sugar was produced globally.

And the amount of sugar we consume is still rising. Worldwide, we haveincreased our yearly sugar intake by almost 20 million tons since 2009, as the chart below shows.

The World Health Organisation recommends that adults should consume no more than 25g, or six and a half teaspoons, a day. Despite this, studies consistently show that average sugar consumption far exceeds recommended limits.

One study found that, as a region, Asia is responsible for almost half of the world’s total sugar intake. Meanwhile, in the United States people have a fondness for sugar, with one survey showing that the average American consumes 126g every day – more than five times the recommended limit.

Latin American countries are also big consumers of sugar. Research shows that Brazilians consume, on average, 152g of sugar, and Mexicans more than 100g per day. The high levels of sugar consumption in some Latin American countries could be explained by the popularity of sugary drinks in the region.

Sugary drinks have been highlighted as a major contributor to overall sugar intake, especially among children. For young people aged 11-18, 40% of added sugar intake comes from soft drinks. Children consume 30% of their added sugar from sugary drinks, compared to only 25% for adults.

Do we need a tax on sugar?

In an attempt to reduce the consumption of sugar, and especially sugary drinks, governments around the world have implemented strategies including taxing sugary drinks.

Mexico implemented a 10% “sugar tax”, resulting in a 12% cut in consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. France and Chile have introduced similar taxes, while other countries including Indonesia, India and the Philippines are looking at implementing taxes on sugar.

According to a report from Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum, a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in the UK could save 3.7 million people from becoming obese over the next 10 years. The tax is backed by more than half of the UK public surveyed.

What does this mean for economies?

The health effects of excessive sugar consumption, such as obesity and the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, places a heavy burden on healthcare systems around the world.

In the US, the medical costs resulting from obesity and weight issues are estimated to be almost 10% of total healthcare expenditure.

A McKinsey report found that in 2012 the total economic loss to the UK from obesity amounted to £49 billion.

The report found that a tax on sugary drinks would be beneficial for the UK’s economy, reducing health and social care spending by £10 billion a year.

July 2020