Following publication of an article titled “Sweet Little Lies,” Mother Jones magazine has made available online the documents underlying the authors’ assertions of sugar-industry influence over government dietary policy and scientific health effects research. Additional details about the article appear in Issue 459 of this Update. Among the documents is one from 1942 that purportedly “encouraged sugar cane and sugar beet producers to create a joint research foundation to counter the ‘ignorance’ the industry was facing.” It discusses World War II sugar rationing and campaigns “derogatory to sugar.” A video featuring one of the article’s authors is also available online.
In a related development, writing in the Harvard College Global Health Review, Dylan Neel calls for strict regulation of sugar, including taxation, reduced availability, control of the location and density of retail markets, and tightened vending machine and snack bar licensing. He claims in his October 24, 2012, article “The Sugar Dilemma” that “[f ]ailure to curb global sugar consumption will condemn the world to yet another decade of rampant obesity, diabetes and cancer.” According to Neel, non-communicable diseases contribute to 35 million deaths annually throughout the world and “[d]eveloping countries must now bear the crippling double burden of both non-communicable and communicable disease.” He contends that the recent surge in the incidence of heart disease, cancer and diabetes is “undisputedly” attributable to “increased dietary use of refined sugar.”