Back in the 1960s, a sugar industry executive wrote fat checks to a group of Harvard researchers so that they’d downplay the links between sugar and
heart disease in a prominent medical journal—and the researchers did it, according to historical documents reported in the journal JAMA Internal
Medicine. One of those Harvard researchers went on to become the head of nutrition at the United States Department of Agriculture, where he set the
stage for the federal government’s current dietary guidelines. All in all, the corrupted researchers and skewed scientific literature successfully
helped draw attention away from the health risks of sweets and shift the blame solely to fats—for nearly five decades. The low-fat, high-sugar diets
that health experts subsequently encouraged are now seen as a main driver of the current obesity epidemic.