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The shocking truth about sugar
The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes provides us with a compelling argument that sugar is the tobacco of the new millennium. He backs up his case by investigating the history of nutritional science and the influence the food industry has had on scientific research.
Gary Taubes has written a number of books and I'm a huge fan of his two previous books 'Why We Get Fat' and 'The Diet Delusion (aka as Good Calories, Bad Calories). In his new book, he documents the case against sugar as the prime culprit in why the modern Western diet is killing so many people. Is it possible that sugar is the single root cause of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer?
The book chronicles the rise in popularity of sugar and sugary products like lollies, chocolate, ice cream and soft drinks. We hear how the sugar industry created the Sugar Research Foundation to educate the public on the benefits of sugar and develop industry-funded research programs. The sugar industry used the same tactics, PR and advertising companies which were used by the tobacco industry.
Then we discover how the American Heart Foundation promoted the dietary-fat-heart disease hypothesis. I was disgusted to learn the National Institute of Health "eventually spent between half a billion and a billion dollars testing the hypothesis that a low-fat diet would prevent chronic health disease in women". It failed to confirm the hypothesis with 20,000 women in the trial consuming a low-fat diet seeing no health benefits compared with women who had be given no dietary instruction whatsoever.
In 1975, the International Sugar Research Foundation was worried that consumption of sugar had dropped by 12 percent in the previous two years and a major factor was "the impact of consumer advocates who link sugar consumption with certain diseases". In US, the Sugar Association recruited Coca-Cola, Hershey, General Foods, General Mills, Nabisco, Life Saves, Quaker Oats, M&Ms/Mars, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper on board to promote 'sugar's goodness'.
The Case Against Sugar needs to be read by anyone who hasn't given up the addictive white substance and I hope that people will start to revaluate the food they eat and offer other people.
The Case Against Sugar is available in paperback from your favourite bookseller.
ISBN: 9781846276378 Published by Allen and Unwin, Imprint by Granta
About the author
Gary Taubes is the co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative and the author of Why We Get Fat and The Diet Delusion. An award-winning science and health journalist, his writing has appeared in Discover, Science, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Nature and the British Journal of Medicine. He has received three Science in Society Journalism Awards from the National Association of Science Writers and is the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He lives in Oakland, California.