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The Sugar Story: A Spoonful Of Addiction Makes The Profits Go Up?

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

With guest host Stephen Henderson.

Our decisions about what to eat are driven by much more than hunger. Social trends, agricultural science and multimillion-dollar industries can make certain vegetables hip or carbs passé, while concerns for overall health sit on the sidelines.

One of the major food trends of the last half-century was the movement away from fat. But, research published last year found that the fight against fat was fueled in part by sugar interests. As the New York Times reports:

The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.

Now, with the research in doubt, with diabetes and obesity rates high and with questions rising about whether sugar is addictive, more and more people are turning away from a decades-long sugar habit.


Gary Taubes, Author of “The Case Against Sugar;” Science writer; @garytaubes

Michael Moss, Author of “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us;” former investigative reporter for The New York Times; @MichaelMossC

Courtney Gaine PhD, RD, President and CEO, the Sugar Association in Washington, DC

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