A Timeline of Sugar Spin

How the sweets industry won America’s heart—and gut.

It’s striking to realize that such a basic commodity—a substance we spoon into our coffee every day and use in almost everything we bake—may play a causative role in some of our deadliest diseases. Ever since the mid-1900s, when cereal makers realized that sugar boosts sales, America’s food and beverage industries have been sweetening up their products. To buoy sugar’s popularity circa World War II, producers launched what would become the Sugar Association Inc. (SAI), which later turned its attention to undermining research that suggests that it’s more than cavities we need to worry about. As Gary Taubes and Cristin Kearns Couzens report in “Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies,” the SAI heavily funded sugar-friendly studies, ran misleading ads, and concocted a multiprong PR campaign to convince people that sugar was harmless and could even help us stay thin. Below are highlights from Big Sugar’s longstanding attempt to win America’s heart—and gut. (Be patient, as the timeline may take a few seconds to load.)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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