Big Sugar decided to "help" scientists with funding
One question remained: with evidence about sugar's role in heart disease starting to mount, how could the industry hope to secure those extra calories? The Sugar Research Foundation got a meeting with D. Mark Hegsted, a top nutrition researcher at Harvard, and offered to give him and his team a hand with research funding -- specifically so that they could take a second look at the heart disease research on sugar and fat that was already out there and use it to convict fat and acquit sugar.
A couple weeks later, they shook hands on a deal not at all suspiciously called “Project 226.” As scientists reviewed past research on heart disease, the sugar people made themselves chummy with the Harvard scientists, sending them research articles to support their argument and reviewing drafts for them. Just nice, friendly help from the good folks at Big Sugar.
This isn't just conspiracy theory mumbo-jumbo, either -- the documents show that three scientists were paid what works out to $50,000 in current dollars to publish the research. Industry influence didn't stop there, either, with around 1,500 pages of Sugar Research Foundation correspondence show how Big Sugar tried to get the sweet stuff off the hook for causing cavities. As there was no email in those days, these were... written. By hand. Now that’s some dedication to deceiving the public.