“Enjoy an Ice Cream Cone Shortly Before Lunch”

10 classic ads from the sugar and cereal industries


Since the 1930s, sugar has been finding its way into a large proportion of what we eat. But not on its own. The research and PR arms of the Sugar Association, the leading trade group representing sugar growers and refiners, was bent on promoting the benefits of the sweet stuff to the masses, despite growing suspicions that sugar might play a role in serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In their new Mother Jones exposé, best-selling author Gary Taubes and independent researcher Cristin Kearns Couzens used internal sugar documents to show how the industry set about countering scientific evidence on sugar’s risks, commissioning studies by sugar-friendly researchers, and recruiting food and beverage companies—among them Coca-Cola, Nabisco, General Foods, and Quaker Oats—to help finance the effort. Here are a handful of decades-old ads designed to promote the wholesome goodness of sugar and its usefulness as a diet aid. In 1972, as I point out in our sugar timeline, the Federal Trade Commission ordered the sugar industry to stop making these kinds of erroneous claims.  

1971, Woman’s Day, Sugar Information Inc.

 

1951, General Foods

 

1953, Life, Domino Sugar

 

1959, Sugar Molecule, Sugar Information Inc.

 

1954, Confectioner’s Journal, Sugar Information Inc.

 

Sugar Information Inc.

 

Sugar Information Inc.

 

1955, Life, Refined Syrups and Sugars Inc.

 

Kellogg’s

 

1966, Good Housekeeping, GW Sugar

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.