Sugar Industry Program to Disrupt Science Connecting Sugar to Diabetes

I know that this is somewhat hard to believe in this era of fake news and disbelief in science, but it turns out the sugar industry had a long-term deliberate initiative to distort and disrupt the science associating sugar with diabetes. Who would have known?

I think this is the same story, is it not?

I only get 10 free articles from the WaPo/month :sunglasses:

I request those who find political comments distasteful to skip the following comment.

The corporations that fund these highly successful long-term propaganda campaigns should definitely receive the corporate death sentence. Corporations were never intended to persist forever. The damage done to the health of millions requires a punishment that fits the crime. Corporate leaders should do hard jail time and corporate charters should be revoked. No other punishment will change their behavior. Too many large companies look at the eventual fines as simply the cost of doing business.

As people living with diabetes, we are an especially injured group. There was a time when corporate charters were only granted and sustained when the company could demonstrate accomplishing some public good.

Yes, @MarieB, that is the same article.


Not distasteful to me at all. Corporations have been given way too much leeway. They are people (according to our SC) and have the protections of a business entity (limited liability). They really have to make up their ____ minds. You can’t have it both ways.

If you’re a person-- I can sue you and you can have liability. I can also punch you in the nose if you get fresh with my significant other.

If you’re a corporation, you are not a person and have no rights as such.

Corporations are created by governments-- not the other way around.

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I’m sorry but I do not like food police. The case against sugar is really a case against all high carb foods. The problem is excessive consumption not the product itself. I see the sugar industry as providing a safe product if it is used in moderation.

Why should they commit economic suicide if they are providing what is basically a safe product. Please spare me the outrage, if you wish to be outraged direct it at those that have set the dietary guideline of the past. don’t be surprised that the sugar industry down played any health issues of excess consumption. If you are asking an industry to self regulate you are letting the fox guard the hen house.

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“Food police” are one thing and I don’t like them either. Deliberate concealment of a potential threat is quite another, and when it’s premeditated and systematic it deserves punishment.

Should the tobacco industry have gotten off scot-free when they knew their product was harming people and bent over backwards to convince the public it wasn’t? My friend’s lawyer led the charge in that landmark case and he certainly wouldn’t agree.

The parallel is exact. The sugar industry has systematically done its best to convince everyone that eating all the sugar you like is harmless when it clearly is not. Whether you think people should be allowed to eat what they want is not the point. Deceptive, dangerous, self-serving propaganda is. See Gary Taubes’s newest book, The Case Against Sugar, for chapter and verse.


I applied for an opening with the food police but they cut the positions just before I was hired. I think I was too lenient anyway. Now put that cucumber down before I go all crazy and give you a ticket.


I think it has been known for a long time. I read about this somewhere online 3-4 years ago at least. When they switched to pushing low fat diets they dumped a bunch of sugar into everything instead. They knew what it was doing from at least one study. A lot of the foods that received huge amounts of sugar are already very high carb such as cereal. I tried to buy a roasted chicken at stop and shop instead of WF the other day because they ran out and it had sugar added into it. You can’t get many things in too many places here without large amounts of sugar, salt and pepper added in.

The dangers have been recognized for a long time. Back in the 1970s, a friend of my parents was an oncologist specializing in colorectal cancers. He used to say that if white sugar, white flour and white rice suddenly disappeared, he’d be out of a job.


Terry - the founders understood and specifically put freedom of the press into the constitution. Government can never control people efficiently over the long-term only a well informed free market can. The best tool for this is an open internet and the move to end net neutrality is a great step to keep information freely flowing.

I saw a similar article to yours in the the WSJ or NY Times a few days ago and remembered reading a similar article about 6 years ago. Six years ago I didn’t think it was hidden info but rather not widely publicized. If “Al Gore” had invented the internet sooner maybe it would have become common knowledge 50 years ago.

From a diabetes perspective the best tool to treat diabetes is a healthy pancreas. The next best way is to mimic first, second and fasting pancreatic insulin release. For the early stage T2/pre-diabetic who still has some beta-cell function second phase and fasting insulin can be handled by the pancreas.

For the typical T2 if you had something which could mimic first phase release, bring the T2/pre-diabetic back to FBG levels asap and could work in conjunction with the liver to prevent hypos you would be a long way to addressing the post meal BG spike which would go a long way to addressing the heart disease. That post meal spike which none of the oral meds address is like a “stake in the heart”. Its all about “Stopping the Spike”.

Now the sad news is that tool is already available, is not widely known, has limited insurance coverage, is very expensive without insurance and is on most BP’s Christmas wish list for #1 things which they would like to go away. IMO without the internet it would already be off the market and the company making it would be bankrupt. The free market works and works better with more info and more sunshine on government.

Who are we going to punish., thousands of sugar cane growers, I have no statistics but I suspect there are too many sugar refiners to go after. And to what end, what will be the results, higher food prices, corporate entities do not generally suffer from this kind of punishment, they merely pass the cost along. Sugar is a legitimate food product, I see no other product that can be an alternative that can hold the prices of sugar in line.

I can hardly equate what sugar industry has done with what big tobacco has done. Tobacco has little or no redeeming qualities, There is no safe level of consumption, it is pure poison. Please spare me the moral equivalency argument.

Who do the food police go after next, Growers of wheat, corn, rice, shall we go after cereal makers for using those hi carb grains, shall we sanction bakers and pasta makers, these product are just a damaging as sugar. Maybe we should go after cattle growers too because after all excessive beef consumption is also a bad thing.

No, I won’t spare you the argument, because it’s true and it matters. They are morally equivalent. But please spare me the pejorative “food police”. Policing has the force of law. No one (certainly not me) is advocating compulsion or mandatory diet rules here. I’m just opposed to organized lying on something that affects how people live . . . or don’t. Of course everyone should be free to chose what they eat. But a choice isn’t really “free” unless it’s be based on true information, not lies. It’s the lying I’m opposed to. Please deal with the actual issue and don’t sidestep to deflect it.

Let me be sure I understand. It’s okay with you for an organized industry consortium to spend millions of dollars over a period of years to convince people that it’s safe to eat unlimited quantities of their product when there is compelling evidence that it isn’t, and to collude with researchers and academics to reinforce the message? Because that is exactly what’s been going on.

It certainly isn’t okay with me.


David - I for one have no problem with an industry spending as big as they like as long as we have an even playing field and the other side of the story is free to be heard. When the country was founded they had their own form of Facebook, it was called posting a bill at the town square. The internet has given us that power back. Fifty years ago this power was lost.

Its really not much different than all the T2 meds being advertised on TV today with BP spending all that money. Its commercial after commercial while none address the T2 root cause which is not enough insulin at meal time to stop the spike. Heck, BP has even convinced doctors to prescribe these things. Given enough time and resources the market figures things out as long as the market is free to operate without the hand of government tipping the scale.


I respect your point of view. We see it through a different lens, though.

I do have a problem with the sort of organized deceit we’re talking about, because lives are at stake, not just spending patterns. To return to the previous example, is it okay with you that the tobacco industry had carte blanche for years to tell credible people that tobacco is good for you? 'Cause that’s what they did. They didn’t just limit themselves to “refuting” the claims of harm with doctored data (bad enough all by itself), they did the other, too.

And let’s be clear: I have not suggested and am not talking about government action. The lawsuit that really socked it to the industry and cost them $20 billion in round numbers was not undertaken by the government. It was a class action civil suit brought by private parties. Let a jury hear the evidence and decide. That’s good enough for me.

You have to cast a wide net to cover all the sources of deceit mentioned, Let see lets ensnare the beverage industry (oops we have already done that), lets rein in the dessert industry, the cereal industry Oh and lets not ignore the party most complicit, the public health official that has for years pushed junk science on us in the form of dietary guidelines, after all it is the public health official that is specifically hired to advise the public of health dangers.

I am in no way wishing to downplay the health concerns of high carb diets, The sugar industry has its own shame to deal with. The public needs to be educated. I just find the tone of this article distasteful.

The big bad sugar industry made me fat and clogged my arteries, lets single them out and punish them. Be careful who you punish there will be more hurt than the intended target.

Evidently I’m the only one who thinks this is important. Well, so be it. Not the first time and it probably won’t be the last.

David - I think your example of the cigarette industry is a great example of the market working over the long term. Remember when doctors use to advertise cigarettes? That doesn’t happen much anymore.,29307,1848212,00.html

IMO, its even worse in the diabetes space. I just saw another commercial for Jardiance. Now they are telling us its heart healthy. Well that would be great if it did not cause so many amputations and other issues while not even addressing the issue T2s have which is loss of first phase insulin release.

But it does not even stop there. For years Ralph Defronzo told us how great metofrmin was. In fact he was the guy who helped push it through FDA approval. Now Ralph says the following and how many doctors or T2s have heard what he recently said?

“The most waste in type 2 diabetes is to continuously put people on metformin and sulfonylureas (glyburide, glimepiride, etc.). These drugs have no protective effect on the beta cell, and by the time you figure out what you’re doing, there are no beta cells left to save.” – Dr. Ralph DeFronzo (University of Texas Health Science Center)

We know how to treat early T2s today so we can stop and sometimes reverse beta cell damage. However what do we do with the “pre-diabetics”? We send them home and tell them to lose a few pounds and take a walk. When that fails in 50% we put them on metformin and over time 70%+ can’t maintain an A1c of 7.0 Would we ever do this today with a breast lump? Send her home and hope for the best? Heck, 80% of breast lumps are benign. Only 50% of pre-diabetics don’t progress. Over those years while they progress it effects their heart, eyes, etc… Maybe treating them properly early would be the real heart healthy answer and they could keep their toes.

Over time the market will figure this out but only a free and robust press will get the info out when so much money is involved. Take a look at Lily’s 10Q. If they are not suing someone, someone is suing them-

I hope he warned his patients though. :flushed: They specifically targeted children too to make sure they got addicted to those sugary cereals and cookies etc.

It should go to civil suits and other penalties at the least. There’s no excuse for this, they knew what they were doing and they’re still doing it. Thankfully there are many other options available to those of us who are aware and who care about it.