“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

 

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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