How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat
The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.
The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease — including many of today’s dietary recommendations — may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.
制糖业的这些内部文件，由加州大学旧金山分校（University of California, San Francisco，简称UCSF）的一名研究人员在不久前发现，并于周一发表在了《美国医学会期刊：内科学》(JAMA Internal Medicine)上。文件显示，长达50年的关于营养物的作用与心脏病之间关系的研究——包括今天的许多膳食建议——也许基本是由制糖业塑造的。
“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at UCSF and an author of the new JAMA paper.
The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of sugar, fat and heart research. The studies used in the review were hand-picked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.
这些文件显示，一个名叫糖业研究基金会(Sugar Research Foundation)的贸易团体，也就是今天的糖业协会(Sugar Association)，付给哈佛的三位科学家一笔资金——约合今天的5万美元——让他们在1967年发表了一篇关于糖类、脂肪和心脏研究的综述文章。综述中引用的研究成果由这个糖业团体钦点，文章发表在颇具声望的《新英格兰医学杂志》(England Journal of Medicine)上，极力淡化了糖类和心脏健康之间的联系，并将饱和脂肪所起的作用污名化。
The Harvard scientists and the sugar executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went on to become head of nutrition at the Agriculture Department, where in 1977 he helped draft the forerunner to the federal government’s dietary guidelines.
哈佛的这几名科学家以及与他们合作的糖业高管均已去世。其中一名从制糖业那里得到资金支持的科学家是D·马克·赫格斯特(D. Mark Hegsted)，他后来当上了农业部营养部门的负责人，并在1977年帮忙起草了联邦政府的第一版膳食指南。
In a statement responding to the JAMA report, the Sugar Association said the 1967 review was published at a time when medical journals didn’t typically require researchers to disclose funding sources or potential financial conflicts of interest. The New England Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.
The industry “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that sugar “does not have a unique role in heart disease.”