Is sugar really as addictive as cocaine and other drugs? Just how addictive is sugar? These questions have been buzzing for years.
In the 1960s, the idea of healthy food consumption was still novel. The understanding that fats affect our risk of heart disease was also new; public consciousness was not yet centered on the effects of fats and sugars on our bodies and overall health. Since the 1960s, however, numerous independent and peer-reviewed studies have concluded that sugar consumption is a substantial component when it comes to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The sugar industry denies all such claims.
A diet high in sugar has long been implicated in a range of serious health ailments, from diabetes and obesity to heart disease. Now there’s more bad news for dessert lovers: A positive correlation has been found between sugar and cancer.
Molecular biologists in Belgium just published in Nature Communications the results of a nine-year study that showed that the way in which cancer cells process sugar can stimulate tumor growth.
When Amsterdam’s obesity rate topped that of the rest of the Netherlands, the city took action. In the early 2000s, a fifth of the city’s children were considered overweight, with 2,000 weighing in as morbidly obese. A program that targets sugary drinks, fast food and sedentary lifestyles helped the city cut those rates 12 percent between 2012 and 2015 — small but notable progress in a fight much of the world is facing today.
New research published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine found that scientists were paid by the sugar industry in the 1960s and 70s to downplay sugar’s (sucrose) health risks. Research fellow Cristi Kearns, of University of California, San Francisco, reviewed more than 1,500 internal documents, memos, reports and studies commissioned in the 1960s by the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF), now the Sugar Association.
The documents reveal that the SRF paid three Harvard scientists tens of thousands of dollars to publish a review of sugar, fat and heart research in 1965 in the New England Journal of Medicine, with hand-picked studies that minimized the link between sugar and heart health, and vilified saturated fat and cholesterol.