The sugar conspiracy – The 200 words project

(continued from parts 1, 2 – this is part of a 4 part series based on a wonderful piece of scientific reporting on “The Guardian” about a war among nutritionists that has affected our generation in more ways than we know).

Knowing that John Yudkin posed a hypothesis about sugar that challenged his own hypothesis about fat being the enemy, Ancel Keys went on a political offensive. Yudkin was a mild-mannered man, unskilled in the art of political combat. Over time, Keys’ campaign to discredit Yudkin worked – his book “Pure, White and Deadly” was rubbished as science fiction and he died in 1995 – a disappointed and forgotten man. Robert Adkins, a Cardiologist, who recommended a high-fat, low carb diet also became a hate figure thanks to the Ancel Keys movement.

In the last decade, a collection of scientists led by Robert Lustig have re-invigorated research on the effect of sugars and awareness has been on the rise. However, even in 2015, the US dietary guidelines didn’t incorporate the new research. Steven Nissen, chairman of Cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, called the new guidelines “an evidence-free zone.”

Yudkin once said that if only a small fraction of what we know about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, that material would promptly be banned.

It is only now that that message is reaching the collective consciousness.

The final edition with lessons learnt coming up next week.

When I asked Lustig why he was the first researcher in years to focus on the dangers of sugar, he answered: “John Yudkin. They took him down so severely – so severely – that nobody wanted to attempt it on their own. – Ian Leslie

The sugar conspiracyThanks to Pete Gamlen for the image

Source and thanks to: The Sugar Conspiracy by Ian Leslie in the Guardian, more about Robert Lustig here

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