One of our classmates did a midterm project on the bad effects of sugar, but the concept of excess sugar as “bad” is really a more recent finding. This article actually shows why sugar was dismissed as being a health threat back in the day. British Scientist John Yudkin published findings from more than a decade of research in “Pure, White and Deadly: How Sugar is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It” in 1972. However, at the time, the major health threat that people were focusing on was saturated fats, causing Yudkin and his research to be ridiculed and overlooked.
Now, the main reason behind the dismissal of Yudkin’s claims was an interesting one. The time around which Yudkin first theorized that sugar was a health hazard was when President Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack while in office. Eisenhower’s doctor then treated him with a low – cholesterol regimen to prevent further issues, and Yudkin was very critical of this. Essentially, these two scientists had a stand-off, and in the end Yudkin lost, leading to a dismissal of his claims.
However, now findings have shied away from pointing fingers at cholesterol and saturated fat as causing health issues. Yudkin has posthumously received credit for his findings and we have learned the addictive and negative nature of sugar and the impact it has on our health.