(NaturalHealth365) With over one-third of American adults considered obese and nearly 70 percent either obese or overweight, there is clearly an obesity epidemic in our country. And while foods with a high saturated fat content are partly to blame, low fat foods are also contributing – especially if they are high in sugar.
Now evidence has surfaced that the truth about sugar was suppressed decades ago – by the sugar industry itself. Americans were given the wrong message about fat and sugar, with low fat foods promoted as a positive choice even when they were high in sugar.
Low fat foods – high in sugar – fraudulently promoted as healthy
In the 1960s, the sugar industry paid scientists to promote saturated fat as the main factor in heart disease while playing down sugar’s role. Internal sugar industry documents indicating the deception were uncovered by University of California at San Francisco researchers and recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
A group called the Sugar Research Foundation (today known as the Sugar Association) paid off three Harvard scientists around $50,000 (adjusted for inflation) in 1967 to skew their research about fat, sugar and heart disease.
The resultant article, published in New England Journal of Medicine, minimized sugar’s negative health impacts and cast saturated fat as the main villain. The skewed data still influences nutritional standards and is believed to be a main driver of the obesity epidemic.
Skewed data about sugar and low fat foods have fueled American obesity epidemic
The sugar industry payoff took place at a time when disclosure of funding sources was not required. As much as five decades of research about the effects of nutrition on health have been fraudulently influenced by the sugar industry’s dishonesty. Any transparent and honest discussion about sugar was effectively derailed years ago. This data is still shaping the dietary recommendations in use today.
Encouraging people to favor low-fat foods even if high in sugar and simple carbohydrates is at the heart of the obesity epidemic in America. While having saturated fat in moderation is a good idea, the demonization of fat led to Americans avoiding the healthy, unsaturated kind found in oily fish, avocados, nuts, eggs and olive oil.
Again, moderation is key, but avoiding essential healthy fats can lead to health issues. Unsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6 are now known to be extremely beneficial.
Who can we trust?
In recent years, the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association have finally begun to warn Americans about the hazards of eating too much sugar. Refined carbohydrates and sugar-sweetened beverages are among the most dangerous threats, contributing to both heart disease and obesity.
This blatant move to fraudulently shift public opinion about sugar in the 1960s was horrible, but these practices still continue today. Last year, it was revealed that the Coca-Cola company gave researchers millions of dollars to downplay the link between obesity and sugary drinks. Some candy companies were also caught funding studies claiming kids who eat candy weigh less than children who don’t!
As long as human greed continues to drive the industries of this world, it’s important to stay vigilant. Your health and quality of life depend on it.
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