In the 1960, the sugar industry paid Harvard University nutrition experts to downplay studies linking sugar to heart disease.

The documents – which include correspondence, symposium programs and annual reports – show that the Sugar Research Foundation (its name at the time) paid professors who wrote a two part review in 1967 in the New England Journal of Medicine. That report was highly skeptical of the evidence linking sugar to cardiovascular problems but accepting of the role of fat.

The first dietary guidelines published by the federal government in 1980 said there was no convincing evidence that sugar causes heart disease, stating “the major health hazard from too much sugar is tooth decay.”

Fat and cholesterol controlled the scientific agenda for decades, leading to a craze of low-fat foods that often added sugar. It was only in 2015 that dietary guidelines finally made a strong statement to limit sugar.

Recent New York Times investigations of Coca-Cola-sponsored research reveal that this research attempts to show that children who eat sweets have a healthy body weight.

(“Sugar Industry Shifted Health Focus: Payments to Authors Influenced 1967 Report Indicting Fat”, Laura Beil, “Science News”, Oct 15, 2016, p.7)