When the history of sugar is written, 2016 may go down as the year its image turned. Sure, we always knew those sweet white crystals could rot teeth and cause people to pack on the pounds. Obesity and diabetes were already national emergencies, with the latter representing 10% of U.S. health care costs in recent years.

The Case Against Sugar have also begun linking our favorite natural sweetener to such dreaded conditions as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. (Those conclusions are far from universally accepted to this point.) Adding a dark undercurrent, revelations in the fall suggested that the sugar industry paid Harvard scientists in the 1960s to trivialize its role in coronary problems and instead play up saturated fat as the culprit—which helped shape the direction of nutrition research to this day.

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