Sugar Polluted Scientific Research
October 19, 2016
If your diet includes too much sugar, it is a good idea to cut back on the amount you consume. If also turns out if you have too much sugar in your research, the sugar industry will bribe you to hide the facts. Stat News reports that even objective academic research is not immune from corporate bribes in the article, “Sugar Industry Secretly Paid For Favorable Harvard Research.”
In the 1960s, Harvard nutritionists published two reviews in medical journals that downplayed the role sugar played in coronary heart disease. The sugar industry paid Harvard to report favorable results in scientific studies. Dr. Cristin Kearns published a paper in JAMA Internal Medicine about her research into the Harvard sugar conspiracy.
Through her research, she discovered that Harvard nutrionists Dr. Fredrick Stare and Mark Hegsted worked with the Sugar Research Foundation to write a literature review that countered early research that linked sucrose to coronary heart disease. This research would later help the sugar industry increase its market share by convincing Americans to eat a low-fat diet.
Dr. Walter Willett, who knew Hegsted and now runs the nutrition department at Harvard’s public health school, defended him as a principled scientist…‘However, by taking industry funding for the review, and having regular communications during the review with the sugar industry,’ Willett acknowledged, it ‘put him [Hegsted] in a position where his conclusions could be questioned. It is also possible that these relationships could induce some subtle bias, even if unconscious,’ he added.
In other words, corporate funded research can skew scientific data so that it favors their bottom dollar. This fiasco happened in the 1960s, have things gotten worse or better? With the big competition for funding and space in scientific journals, the answer appears to be yes.