Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The New York Times yesterday featured an article titled: Bias Is Found In Food Studies With Financing From Industry. The report they refer to is that of PLoS Medicine Journal which is the first systematic study of bias in nutrition research.
There were 24 studies of soft drinks, milk and juices paid for by the industry. 21 had either favorable or neutral results while 3 were unfavorable. The 52 studies that were NOT industry funded, 32 were favorable or neutral and 20 were unfavorable.
Apparently, these results mirror the pharmaceutical industry. Food involves everyone whereas drug studies affect a smaller population. Food studies influence governmental recommendations or guidelines which are supposed to be science based. Its an issue of protecting public health.
One example of a study is one of carbonated beverages conducted in 2003, funded by the American Beverage Association. The results found that boys with higher body weights did not consume more regular soft drinks than boys who were not overweight but did consume more diet soft drinks. Basically, don't worry Mom and Dad, obesity has NOTHING to do with soft drink consumption! Not so fast, the bevie industry was BUSTED in 2003 in a study of soft drinks in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found a direct relationship between the number of soft drinks consumed and obesity. Foundations sponsored that study.
Professor Marion Nestle, my idol, says, "For people who think science is completely objective, these results might come as a big shock."

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