Since the 1960s, the sugar industry has been very successful in its pursuit to be free of blame for obesity and heart disease in Western culture. Recently, historical documents have surfaced that show that the sugar industry has been paying scientists to ignore their findings linking sugar to heart disease for decades.
A recent report released in September has revealed internal sugar industry documents that suggest that the last five decades of sugar research has been heavily influenced by the sugar industry. This influence has potentially led to inaccurate dietary recommendations over the years and possibly set back sugar research for decades into the future.
In these documents, it is revealed that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, also known as the Sugar Association essentially bribed Harvard scientists in 1967 with today’s equivalent of $50,000 to write and publish a report on fat, sugar, and heart disease. The findings of this report were published in many articles that ended up downplaying the true effect that sugar has on the human body.
Though disingenuous, this type of influence was not necessarily illegal at the time. Medical journals did not require scientists to share the source of their funds until the New England Journal of Medicine started requiring them to in 1984. This type of corruption is one reason that suggests that health research should be funded by the public instead of by industry.