written by
Dr. Elson Haas

May 05, 2017

TOO MUCH SUGAR IN OUR FOOD, BUT TOO MUCH LOBBYING MONEY AS WELL

Not only do we need to pay attention what food we buy and consume, but also what nutrition information we ingest and digest.

As I wrote in my last blog post, the sugar industry has much invested in promoting and selling their products. The political lobbying to keep sugar popular (and not subject to additional taxes like alcohol or tobacco) has been going on for many decades and highlights the conspiracy to promote sugar as “safe” and blame fats for many diseases. The truth is now coming to light and the great “Sugar Cover-up” is in the news.

For example, the Center for Science in the public interest recently filed suit against Coca Cola, claiming that the company, with the help of the American Beverage Association, deceived and confused the public about the science linking consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

It’s not just advertizing that’s deceptive; multinational food corporations also fund and promote questionable scientific research. As reported by Anahad O’Connor (NYT 12.19.16), The Annals of Internal Medicine, a prominent medical journal, recently published an attack on global health advice to eat less sugar. The article quickly drew sharp criticism from public health experts because it was paid for by the International Life Sciences Institute, a group based in Washington, D.C., and funded by multinational food and agrochemical companies including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hershey’s, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods and Monsanto.

These are not isolated incidents. They echo other news of sugar industry shenanigans going back decades, which successfully shifted the focus away from sugar and onto dietary fats as disease causing agents. For many years nutritional guidelines were adversely affected by these shady practices.

Remember that part of Staying Healthy is becoming a well-informed consumer.