A new paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine examines archives which suggest that 50 years ago, researchers at Harvard received undisclosed funding from the sugar industry to downplay the negative effects of sugar on health. The researchers wrote a series of prominent articles in the New England Journal of Medicine which supported the notion that a high-fat diet leads to the progression of coronary heart disease in the human body, and that sugar plays an insignificant role in the development of the condition.
The researchers behind the JAMA Internal Medicine paper “show that the Harvard authors applied different levels of rigor in their assessment of the literature examining dietary fats and carbohydrates. Evidence suggesting that dietary fat was not important was heavily discounted,” MedPage Today reports.
Today, medical experts increasingly acknowledge that public policy influenced by the food industry ignored the adverse effects of a high-sugar, high-carb diet and contributed to current obesity and diabetes epidemics. While conflicts of interest still exist, there is certainly more transparency around funding of health research now than there was five decades ago.
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