More than 40 years ago, sugar industry influenced NIH agenda on dental research

March 13, 2015

ScienceInsider reports that sugar companies acknowledged as far back as 1950 that consuming sugar contributed to tooth decay. Yet the sugar industry more than 40 years ago “adopted a strategy to deflect attention” away from reducing sugar consumption and toward ways of reducing its harms, reminiscent of the tobacco companies’ efforts to minimize the risks of smoking.

More than 40 years ago, sugar industry influenced NIH agenda on dental research

More than 40 years ago, sugar industry influenced NIH agenda on dental research

The sugar industry convinced the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) that studies that might persuade people to cut back on sugary foods should not be part of a national plan to fight childhood tooth decay, according to a new UCSF study of historical documents: 319 letters, meeting minutes, and other documents dating from 1959 to 1971 in the papers of Roger Adams, an organic chemist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who consulted for sugar industry–funded research organizations.

Nowadays, the association notes that U.S. dietary guidelines advise the public to lower their risk of cavities by reducing the amount of time that sugars and starches are in contact with teeth before brushing.

Posted in Dental Facts Friday by Farhoumand | Tags: