New study shows how sugar industry skews research on fat

Image: Matt Rourke/ap photo

The sugar industry began funding research that cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease in part by pointing the finger at fat as early as the 1960s, according to an analysis of newly uncovered documents.

The analysis published Monday is based on correspondence between a sugar trade group and researchers at Harvard University, and is the latest example showing how food and beverage makers attempt to shape public understanding of nutrition.

In 1964, the group now known as the Sugar Association internally discussed a campaign to address “negative attitudes toward sugar” after studies began emerging linking sugar with heart disease, according to documents dug up from public archives. The following year the group approved “Project 226,” which entailed paying Harvard researchers today’s equivalent of $48,900 for an article reviewing the scientific literature, supplying materials they wanted reviewed, and receiving drafts of the article.

The resulting article published in 1967 concluded there was “no doubt” that reducing cholesterol and saturated fat was the only dietary intervention needed to prevent heart disease. The researchers overstated the consistency of the literature on fat and cholesterol, while downplaying studies on sugar, according to the analysis.

“Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind and we look forward to its appearance in print,” wrote an employee of the sugar industry group to one of the authors.

The sugar industry’s funding and role were not disclosed when the article was published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The journal did not begin requesting author disclosures until 1984.

In an editorial published Monday that accompanied the sugar industry analysis, New York University professor of nutrition Marion Nestle noted that for decades following the study, scientists and health officials focused on reducing saturated fat, not sugar, to prevent heart disease.

While scientists are still working to understand links between diet and heart disease, concern has shifted in recent years to sugars, and away from fat, Nestle said.

A committee that advised the federal government on dietary guidelines said the available evidence shows “no appreciable relationship” between the dietary cholesterol and heart disease, although it still recommended limiting saturated fats.

The American Heart Association cites a study published in 2014 in saying that too much added sugar can increase risk of heart disease, though the authors of that study say the biological reasons for the link are not completely understood.

The findings published Monday are part of an ongoing project by a former dentist, Cristin Kearns, to reveal the sugar industry’s decades-long efforts to counter science linking sugar with negative health effects, including diabetes. The latest work, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, is based primarily on 31 pages of correspondence between the sugar group and one of the Harvard researchers who authored the review.

In a statement, the Sugar Association said it “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” but that funding disclosures were not the norm when the review was published. The group also questioned Kearns’ “continued attempts to reframe historical occurrences” to play into the current public sentiment against sugar.

The Sugar Association said it was a “disservice” that industry-funded research in general is considered “tainted.”

Companies including Coca-Cola Co. and Kellogg Co. as well as groups for agricultural products like beef and blueberries regularly fund studies that become a part of scientific literature, are cited by other researchers, and are touted in press releases.

Companies say they adhere to scientific standards, and many researchers feel that industry funding is critical to advancing science given the growing competition for government funds. But critics say such studies are often thinly veiled marketing that undermine efforts to improve public health.

“Food company sponsorship, whether or not intentionally manipulative, undermines public trust in nutrition science,” wrote Nestle, a longtime critic of industry funding of science.

The authors of the analysis note they were unable to interview key actors quoted in the documents because they are no longer alive. They also note there is no direct evidence the sugar industry changed the manuscript, that the documents provide a limited window into the sugar industry group’s activities and that the roles of other industries and nutrition leaders in shaping the discussion about heart disease were not studied.

Nevertheless, they say the documents underscore why policy makers should consider giving less weight to industry-funded studies. Although funding disclosures are now common practice in the scientific community, the role sponsors play behind the scenes is still not always clear.

In June, the Associated Press reported on a study funded by the candy industry’s trade group that found children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who don’t. The National Confectioners Association, which touted the findings in a press release, provided feedback to the authors on a draft even though a disclosure said it had no role in the paper. The association said its suggestions didn’t alter the findings.

In November, the AP also reported on emails showing Coca-Cola was instrumental in creating a nonprofit that said its mission was to fight obesity, even though the group publicly said the soda maker had “no input” into its activities. A document circulated at Coke said the group would counter the “shrill rhetoric” of “public health extremists.”

Coca-Cola subsequently conceded that it had not been transparent, and the group later disbanded.

Read more: http://mashable.com/

David Hernandez

Trump tells Dr. Oz he loves fast food, wants to lose weight

UPDATE: Thursday, 11:56 a.m. ET: The Dr. Oz Show confirmed to Mashable Trump does in fact weigh 236 pounds.

Donald Trump visited The Dr. Oz Show on Wednesday morning and while the episode won’t air until Thursday, audience reports have already started to circulate.

Trump declared he would share the results of a recent physical on Oz’s show after Hillary Clinton stumbled as she left a Sept. 11 memorial over the weekend. Her campaign later announced she had pneumonia.

Trump opened up about his previously documented love of fast food during the taping Wednesday, among other interesting admissions.

As for Trump’s weight, there were conflicting reports. Politico noted audience members said he weighed 236 pounds while NBC and MSNBC revealed audience members said he weighed 267 pounds. Dr. Oz said Trump was “slightly overweight,” to which Trump replied he hoped to lose 15 to 20 pounds.

Trump’s height has been reported at 6’3″ and at 236 pounds, his BMI, per the CDC, would be 29.5, just at the upper reaches of the “overweight” range, close to “obese.” At 267 pounds, Trump’s weight would be a BMI of 33.4.

On Thursday, the Dr. Oz Show confirmed to Mashable Trump’s weight is actually 236 pounds.

Here’s how the conversation went down:

Dr. Oz: “You’re 63 236 pounds as I mentioned. Now in my mind Im thinking your body surface area and your BMI is high. Its probably close to 30 which is sort of the barrier for most people. Do your doctors or your family ever give you a hard time about your weight?”

Donald Trump: “Yeah I think I could lose a little weight. Ive always been a little bit this way. You know Ive sort of always been, I was probably a good swimmer. But Ive always been this way. I think that if I had one thing Id like to lose weight. Its tough because of the way I live. But the one thing I would like to do is be able to drop 15 20 pounds. It would be good.”

Overall, though, Oz assessed Trump as being healthy.

As for exercise, well, it turns out all of those hand gestures are important! Speaking perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek, Trump said that’s his exercise.

And, of course, there’s his relationship with daughter Ivanka, who made an appearance on the show. Of note, Trump confirmed how he loves to show his affection for his daughter.

More information was reported by NBC’s Katy Tur, including some political aspects of his discussion with Oz.

Mashable will update this story as more information becomes available.

Read more: http://mashable.com/

David Hernandez

Reid In Nasty Battle With Trump Over Weight, Injury

This split shows Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, left, and Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid, right.  (AP)

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is fond of sparring with Republican presidential candidates, but the ex-boxer started an all-out street fight with Donald Trump this week — and it only escalated Friday after the GOP nominee responded by mocking the injury that left Reid blind in one eye. 

“Trump can make fun of the injury that took sight in my eye — I’ve dealt with tougher opponents. With my good eye, I see Trump is a con-artist,” Reid tweeted on Friday morning. 

The political brawl started on Tuesday when Reid poked fun at Trump’s weight. 

While accusing the press of magnifying Hillary Clintons pneumonia diagnosis and downplaying Trump’s health issues, Reid said during a press conference, He complains about her health? What does he do? Hes 70 years old. Hes not slim and trim. 

Trump’s health details released this week show he is somewhat overweight, and the candidate says he wants to lose 15 pounds. But he hit back hard at Reid for going there, making a mocking reference to Reid’s 2015 home-gym accident — which happened when an exercise band snapped, sending the 76-year-old to the ground. He broke several ribs and facial bones.

Harry Reid? I think he should go back and start working out again with his rubber work-out pieces, Trump told the Washington Post on Wednesday.

The latest headlines on the 2016 elections from the biggest name in politics. See Latest Coverage →

Aside from the tweet, Reid also issued a written response to Trump saying with “my good eye, I can see that Trump is a man who inherited his money and spent his entire life pretending like he earned it.”

This is not the first time Reid has engaged in a verbal battle with a Republican presidential nominee.

In July 2012, Reid took to the Senate floor to engage in speculation that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes.

Speaking in the Senate on Thursday, Reid also unleashed a flurry of broadsides at Trump calling him a human leech and a spoiled brat. 

Reid, who is retiring in January after 33 years in Congress, also suggested earlier this summer that intelligence officials fake the security briefings given to Trump.

How would the CIA and the other intelligence agencies brief this guy? How could they do that? I would suggest to the intelligence agencies, if youre forced to brief this guy, dont tell him anything, just fake it, because this man is dangerous, Reid said during an interview with The Huffington Post.

Reids attacks may or may not damage Trump, but one of Reids colleagues believes the real blow is to the Nevadans own legacy.

“Harry Reid, for some time now, has been going beyond the line, making statements on the floor where words should be taken down,” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., told Roll Call.

“And to hear in the last few months of his career, sadly, it’s gotten worse. And it mainly looks bad for Senator Reid and his legacy.” 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

David Hernandez

6 Ways Your Diet Can Help You Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

 (iStock)

Alzheimers disease is a devastating degenerative brain disorder that leads to problems with memory, cognition, and overall mental ability. The disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases in America. Alzheimers is an age-related disease thats categorized by the slow deterioration of the mind over many years. One in nine people over the age of 65 currently lives with Alzheimers disease, and as many as one in three seniors die with some form of dementia.

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The most troubling aspect, however, is how the disease targets its victims. Its first signs are innocuous  a forgotten word, face, or name but it then slowly develops into the loss of personal history and culminates in compete helplessness and the need for full-time care.

Whether an individual develops Alzheimers is largely out of his/her control the most reliable indicators are your age, your family history, and your genetics. That said, Alzheimers is still, above all, a disease of the mind. Therefore, building a diet around foods that have been found to benefit the brain is one way to proactively combat it.

The medical community is fighting feverishly to discover the origins of this mysterious and deadly disease, and new research continues to flow from universities and research hospitals. A 2015 study of 923 subjects between ages 58 to 98 found that the subjects who followed a diet that was rich in green leafy vegetables, berries, fish, whole grains, and olive oil, and that was also low in red meats, cheese, butter, and fast food, had lower rates of developing Alzheimers.

Here is a list of six ways that your diet can help you avoid Alzheimers disease.   

Click Here to View 6 Ways Your Diet Can Help You Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease Slideshow 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

David Hernandez

Could your fitness tracker sabotage your diet?

(CNN)Wearable technologies can monitor your physical activity or your allergies. Increasingly, they are part of our everyday lives. But a new analysis comparing two sets of dieters discovered that those wearing activity trackers lost less, not more, weight than the tech-free dieters.

“We went in with the hypothesis that adding the technology would be more effective than not having the technology, and we found just the opposite,” said John Jakicic, author of the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    “One of the things we didn’t study here was, maybe these things are really effective for people gaining weight, but maybe that’s different from helping people lose weight,” said Jakicic, a professor and director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. “We need to do a lot more digging in the data to understand that.”
    “That means that something is amiss,” said Berkeley, who was not involved in the new study. She explained that if there was “absolutely no difference” between what the two groups ate and how much they exercised, the average weight losses “should be the same whether the study subjects wore a device or not.”
    Berkeley observed that studies on dieting are “notoriously hard to do,” so adding exercise into the mix makes accurate research doubly difficult. The main issue is that any long-term study must rely on the participants self-reporting what they ate and how much they exercised, so accuracy is naturally a problem.

    Wearable but in the drawer

    Jakicic is eager to look more closely at the data, but he and his colleagues have come up with a few hypothetical explanations for the unexpected result.
    “Anecdotally, these devices tend to work or people tend to engage with them for about three months or so, and after that, a lot of people start throwing them in the drawer. They get bored with them,” Jakicic said.
    Another possibility: Not everyone likes wearables. Instead, many people feel ” ‘I got this device, and I just hate it,’ ” he said.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    Berkeley, the author of “Refuse to Regain: 12 Tough Rules to Maintain the Body You’ve Earned,” noted that “weight loss is much more dependent on scrupulously following a weight-reducing diet than on exercise.” Generally, she said, diet is more important than exercise during the active weight loss phase, but exercise becomes much more important during weight maintenance.
    “It’s entirely possible that those who were paying more attention to the exercise part of their regimen [because of the wearable device] were less scrupulous about their intake,” Berkeley said. She added that exercising can often cause dieters to “feel that they’ve ‘earned’ the chance to eat more.”

    Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

    David Hernandez

    Woman Who Fit In Size 12 Jeans By Age 8 Looks Unrecognizable After 180-Pound Weight Loss

    Losing weight can be one of the hardest things for a person to do.

    Eating right and working out is what pretty much every fitness expert will tell you to do if you want to shed some pounds, but that is easier said than done.

    We all lead busy lives! How do some people make it to the gym 6 times a week? I am amazed and impressed by people who can make healthy meals for themselves 3 times a day. I’m lucky if I eat a salad once a week.

    I give these dedicated folks plenty of credit. Mastering a healthy diet and lifestyle is something I haven’t figured out yet, but maybe one day.

    After getting a scale in the mail, Erica decided to turn her life around after she read the number of the screen.

    When Erica was a kid, she fit into her mom’s size 12 jeans when she was in the 2nd grade. She used food to comfort herself, as well as to celebrate and enjoy life.

    Erica works as a blogger and someone sent her a scale to review, not knowing that Erica struggled with her weight. When she stepped on the scale, it said she weighed 326 pounds.

    Instead of kicking herself for her weight, she was inspired to use that scale daily to monitor it. She started a low-carb diet and over time, she shed 180 pounds! But after losing that weight, she didn’t know what to wear. That is where Today nutritionist Joy Bauer came in to help!

    If you were inspired by this woman’s weight loss journey, you will also find this mother losing 90 pounds after having her baby as motivation as well!

    Don’t forget to SHARE Erica’s story with all of your friends and family!

    Read more: http://littlethings.com/

    David Hernandez