Here we go!
“A prominent medical journal on Monday published a scathing attack on global health advice to eat less sugar. Warnings to cut sugar, the study argued, are based on weak evidence and cannot be trusted. The review was paid for by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a scientific group funded by multinational food companies including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hershey’s, and Kellogg’s.”
Highlights, via The New York Times‘ Anahad O’Connor:
- “Critics say the medical journal review is the latest in a series of efforts by the food industry to shape global nutrition advice by supporting prominent academics who question the role of junk food and sugary drinks in causing obesity, Type 2 diabetes and other health problems.”
- “This comes right out of the tobacco industry’s playbook: cast doubt on the science,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University who studies conflicts of interest in nutrition research.
- “Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said he was stunned that the paper was even published at all because its authors “ignored the hundreds of randomized controlled trials” that have documented the harms of sugar.”
- “The scientists behind the paper said more scrutiny of sugar guidelines was needed. The researchers reviewed guidelines issued by the W.H.O. and eight other agencies around the world and said the case against sugar was based on “low-quality” evidence.
- “Dr. Dean Schillinger, chief of the University of California, San Francisco, division of general internal medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, said that it was fine to question the quality of nutrition guidelines and to hold them to high standards but that in this case, the researchers and their financial backers had an obvious agenda. “They’re hijacking the scientific process in a disingenuous way to sow doubt and jeopardize public health,” Dr. Schillinger said.”
- “Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who has served as a peer reviewer on the sugar guidelines issued by the W.H.O. and the American Heart Association, said there was strong scientific evidence that sugar contributed to adverse health conditions like weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.”
And, some additional thoughts from Dr. Marion Nestle, via her blog:
- “I can understand why ILSI wanted this review. Many of its funders make sugary foods and drinks. They would like to: cast doubt on the vast amounts of research linking excessive sugar intake to poor health, discredit dietary guidelines aimed at reducing sugar consumption, and head off regulatory attempts to tax or label added sugars.”
- “Whenever you hear that something isn’t “science-based,” look carefully to see who is paying for it.”