Fat is not your enemy

From Associated Press via Mashable:

The sugar industry began funding research that cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease — in part by pointing the finger at fat — as early as the 1960s, according to an analysis of newly uncovered documents.

The analysis published Monday is based on correspondence between a sugar trade group and researchers at Harvard University, and is the latest example showing how food and beverage makers attempt to shape public understanding of nutrition.

This matters to us at UD because most people have had no idea how much of what is called “science” is shaped by various interests, with data addressed and questions framed, to support lobby and interest group views.

We are only now beginning to get a handle on the decades-old problem. There are useful facts out there, but the current system makes them difficult to find.

In 1964, the group now known as the Sugar Association internally discussed a campaign to address “negative attitudes toward sugar” after studies began emerging linking sugar with heart disease, according to documents dug up from public archives. The following year the group approved “Project 226,” which entailed paying Harvard researchers today’s equivalent of $48,900 for an article reviewing the scientific literature, supplying materials they wanted reviewed, and receiving drafts of the article.

Companies including Coca-Cola Co. and Kellogg Co. as well as groups for agricultural products like beef and blueberries regularly fund studies that become a part of scientific literature, are cited by other researchers, and are touted in press releases. More.

Keep up to date with Retraction Watch. Also, replication studies are our friends. Watch for whether cool new findings ever get replicated anywhere.

See also: Most people do not need to pay more for whole foods.

Salt is not bad for you, especially (unless you have a specific medical problem where it is contra-indicated.)

Science journalist fed up with “nutrition science”

Nutritionist admits in The Scientist: Much nutrition research is “fatally flawed,” “willfully fraudulent”pseudoscience

and

Don’t believe all you read about obesity In The Obesity Myth (2004), law professor Paul Campos argues that the true health risks of obesity are often distorted or exaggerated. He notes, ” … fat, active people have half the mortality rate of thin sedentary people, and the same mortality rate as thin active people.” He makes a powerful case that—generally speaking—lack of vigorous physical activity underlies many of the health problems attributed to obesity, and that obsessive dieting is more harmful to health than obesity.

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