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The Not-So-Sweet News About Sugar: When Cover-Ups And Advertising Gimmicks Lead To Health Problems


Sugar is linked to obesity. No news there. Cavities? It’s a no-brainer. But what about cancer and heart disease? It might surprise some people to know that studies have been around for decades indicating that processed sugar can have a catastrophic effect on the body, and the sugar industry has known all along. Not unlike the tobacco industry, the sugar executives are accused of quashing research unfavorable to the industry, then burying the preliminary results.

Project 259

 The International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF) conducted a study involving rodents as far back as 1968. The aim was to determine the impact of sugar on gut bacteria. Results indicated that triglycerides rose and rodents’ metabolisms were thrown off. Furthermore, the study disclosed that a diet high in sugar leads to the increase of beta-glucuronidase. This enzyme has been connected to bladder cancer.

Continuation of the Study Needed

 Scientists reported their initial findings to the ISRF, and said they wished to continue studying the impacts of sugar for another three months. But research administrators had other ideas. They concluded the value of the research was “nil,” and promptly discontinued funding for the study. Some have accused the sugar industry of burying the evidence linking sugar to serious health risks. Had the study results been available to the public, sugar may have been more closely scrutinized as a food additive nearly 50 years ago. Instead, sugar is a staple in the American diet.


 Now that sugar has been identified as a potentially harmful substance, what are the legal implications? General Mills, Kellogg and Post Foods are all facing lawsuits for false advertising, based on their claims that their cereals are a nutritious part of a healthy breakfast. These misleading statements lead unsuspecting consumers to indulge in their products, erroneously believing that they are enjoying heart-healthy products that actually may contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other serious health problems. Even sugar executives acknowledge that too much sugar—over ten percent of daily calories—is not advisable. So how do popular breakfast cereals stack up? Exactly how much sugar are we talking about? Some popular “healthy” cereals have more sugar than you may think:

  • Raisin Bran: 18 g. (nearly 38 percent of calories from sugar);
  • Honey Nut Cheerios: 9 g. (over 32 percent of calories from sugar);

Is Legal Action Viable?

Sugar and high fructose corn syrup companies have already settled a dispute that explored false advertising and disputes over nutritional aspects of their products. Who knows what’s next for the industry? The feasibility of future lawsuits is waiting to be explored.

Contact Us If You Need Help Today

As consumers, we have the right to get what is promised. When companies cover up information that could help us make educated decisions about our purchases, especially if our health and well-being is significantly impacted, they should be held responsible for their actions.

If you believe you have suffered serious injuries due to false advertising or corporate cover-ups, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton can help. Contact us today in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free consultation.