History of Science

Industry influence and tooth decay

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Science  03 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6230, pp. 88-89
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6230.88-d

The most common chronic disease among children and adolescents in the United States is tooth decay. Without concerted efforts by the sugar industry, we might be a lot closer to eradication. Industry papers from 1959–1971 reveal a pattern of diverting the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) toward strategies to make sugar less harmful and away from reducing sweets. Kearne et al., who analyzed these papers, also found that 78% of an industry-established statement by the International Sugar Research Foundation was directly incorporated into the text of the NIDR request for research proposals for the National Caries Program in 1971.

PLOS Med. 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001798 (2015).

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