For my assignment on a New York Times article I decided to do mine on a topic that immediately caught my interest. I found out about this issue on my favorite podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Joe often brings health experts like Chris Kresser and Dr. Rhonda Patrick on his show to discuss various health issues. He routinely recites the fallacy that fatty foods raise cholesterol. The real culprit is sugar and this New York Times article reiterates that point. In fact it exposes the sugar industry for paying off scientists to blame saturated and trans fats as the main cause for heart disease. The documents exposing the sugar industry were recently published, and they reveal that the studies put forth in the sixties and seventies were false. The Sugar Association paid three scientists from Harvard $50,000 to dish out the faulty studies in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is quite the dietary conspiracy.
Unfortunately, this type of story is nothing unusual. The New York Times goes on to talk about another story they put out a year ago explaining how Coca-Cola has put millions of dollars into downplaying the link between sugar and obesity. The article that reveals that Coca-Cola has a partnership with the Global Energy Balance Network, a non profit that routinely deflects the blame for obesity and heart disease away from dietary habits and towards lack of exercise. Organizations like the The American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have also been accused of being coerced by food giants. Marion Nestle, author of Soda Politics explains this issue.
“The Global Energy Balance Network is nothing but a front group for Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake.”-Marion Nestle
It is pretty clear that a lot of these dietary scientists are being corrupted and influenced by big food and beverage conglomerates. I find it incredibly shameful that there is actually false information being published in medical journals about something as important as diet and health. Considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death, killing 7.4 million people annually according to the World Health Organization, it blows my mind that anyone would do something like this. And on top of it, saturated fats aren’t really that bad! Sure, when consumed in excess they will raise your LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and can clog your arteries. However, this study concluded that saturated fats and essential for your body to produce testosterone!
I personally think that diet and health is vital issue and deserves to be discussed more frequently. Now that we know that a lot of mainstream rhetoric we commonly hear are not always true, we need to be more skeptical and challenge ides. The importance of diet needs to be more properly understood in order to develop a happier and healthier general public. A more objective approach that is not influenced by private institutions need to be put in reveal the truth and prevent disease and premature deaths.