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In the early 1970’s a debate raged. Why were we getting so fat?
On one side of the nutritional debate scientists pointed the obesity finger at dietary fat. On the other side of the nutritional fence, scientists pointed the obesity finger at sugar. The two sides squared off, and the debate went into a very public fist fight. The sugar industry hired high profile scientists, bought research studies, revved up their publicity machine and went to work. American Sugar Association bought research and paid Harvard scientists to lie about the role of sugar in our diet. According to modern researchers looking at these old documents, despite clear evidence to the contrary, these former scientists cherry-picked studies to downplay the role of sugar in obesity and heart disease, and wagged an accusative finger at fat. The key loud mouth paid to promote their position was Dr. Fred Stare of Harvards’ prestigious School of Nutrition. He barked these findings to the worlds overweight, via radio, newspaper articles, magazine stories, tv interviews and news junkets.
The well organized and well funded American Sugar Association publicity machine won the highly public debate. They could yell the loudest, hired the best, and spent the most. . Who lost? We did. At this point in our collective nutritional history, fat became demonized, and sugar got a pass. Clever food entrepreneurs glommed onto the “ low fat is good for you “ concept and introduced ‘ low fat foods ‘, which we ate up with guiltless pleasure. Low fat cookies, low fat breads, low fat ice cream, low fat cakes, low fat cheese, low fat yogurt, low fat milk, low fat pasta, low fat ding dongs, low fat ho’-hos’…..were consumed with reckless abandon. The mantra drummed into our tubby brains was “ if it’s low fat, it’s good for you“, and we gobbled it up. And why not? After all, the message was conveyed to us from the leading nutritional scientist from the sacred and hallowed ground of the school of nutrition at Harvard. The human suffering this deception ushered in, is incalculable.
Fast forward forty years. The American Sugar Association publicity machines records were discovered by a dedicated researcher in Colorado. The American Sugar Associations executive emails, notes, payroll, incriminating letters, plans, financial records, studies, covering this time period were stumbled upon. A literal treasure trove of private, company documents revealing their associations, strategies, eare now public knowledge, and they are not pretty. Now archived at the University of San Francisco they are being mined by attorneys, writers, documentarians, scientists, and concerned citizens.
This premeditated fraud, has cost humanity dearly. It was as if Earths’ nutritional axis shifted when the dust settled. The concept went global, went big, and to this day contaminates nutritional thinking in the most remotes part of the globe. Problem is, of course, it was a lie. Many of us paid for it with our lives, for others it has been a financial windfall. Bad for people, good for drug companies, hospitals, and the medical industry. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity and its’ related health problems, are big business.
The epidemic consumption of low fat foods ushered in an unprecedented rise of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a cluster of health problems called ‘ metabolic syndrome ‘, the likes of which this planet has never seen. It turns out sugar, is toxic, and should be a banned substance, according to key researcher Dr. Robert Lustwig, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist of the University of San Francisco. According to Dr. Lustwig, sugar, and more pointedly, fructose, and high fructose corn syrup are extremely toxic, and cause fatty liver disease, diabetes and precipitate obesity and metabolic syndrome.
The anti-sugar backlash has begun. The Earths nutritional axis is straining to right itself against the stalwart resistance of the remaining old guard ‘nutritional authorities’, weaned on the breast of ‘ big sugar, but we will get there.
Modern Scientists, who aren’t selling foods, tell us to; Limit sugars, lower consumption of carbohydrates, don’t be afraid of fat, butter, eggs, cheese, eat locally grown produce, increase proteins from a variety of sources, and work up a sweat as often as you can.
And…. the next time you see the words, ‘ low fat ‘ at your grocery store, keep in mind, it may not have fat in the box, but as it’s laden with sugar, will surely put fat on your hips. Just don’t buy the lie.