A Shocking Look at How the Sugar Industry Influenced Nutritional Guidelines

This week, the New York Times published a shocker of a story, detailing how the sugar industry funded studies that downplayed sugar’s influence in heart disease, instead placing the blame on fat and cholesterol. Here’s a look at the big points the article surfaced:

The Sugar Industry Sweetened Study Results

The Sugar Association — then known as Sugar Research Foundation — paid three Harvard scientists to do a review of research on the causes of heart disease. The article the scientists published “minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.” And this is not a single incident. There’s a long, twisted and unpleasant history of the food industry trying to influence scientific research and nutritional guidelines.

Why Does This Matter?

It’s problematic anytime studies are sponsored by organizations who stand to benefit from one set of results — and suffer from another. This example is particularly bad: Scientists were paid to deliver study results that benefited the sugar industry. And this study had a huge impact:

For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“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,” he [Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F.] said.

….Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

What Does It Mean for You?

Today, we know that sugar is extremely addictive — and hard to avoid.For years, we’ve all been trained to seek out sugar, consuming low-fat, high-sugar foods. If you feel stuck in a craving cycle, it’s because having sugar-rich foods lights up the pleasure center of the brain, triggering the release dopamine, a natural opioid in the brain which makes us feel good. Breaking free of this cycle and re-training your brain to stay away from sugar isn’t easy.

That’s why we developed our special Guided Reboot for Sugar Addiction. During the Guided Reboot, we’ll review symptoms you may experience as a result of sugar cravings, learn how to break the negative cycle and implement strategies to find balance and reduce stress. The program begins on September 29th — sign up today to break free from your sugar cravings, potentially lose weight and improve your health.