How The Food Industry Shapes Health Research

Most scientists agree that added sugar — especially in liquid form, like soda — contributes to metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity. But you might never know there was a consensus by looking at some of the research literature.

A study by the medical journal BMJ, published online Feb. 11, suggests food companies may be at least partly to blame.

The U.K.-based journal found that about two-thirds of the researchers involved with Britain’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition from 2001 to 2012 received money from food, drink or pharmaceutical companies, including giants Nestle, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Mars, or sugar business groups, including the U.S.-based Sugar Association. The Scientific Advisory Committee advises U.K. government agencies on nutrition and health issues, and is charged with issuing new recommendations on carbohydrate consumption.

Providing grants and consultant fees sways the outcome of scientific research, according to a 2013 review of 17 meta-analyses on sugar research. Scientists who received funding from the food industry were five times more likely to find no relationship between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain or obesity than scientists with no financial ties to the industry.

U.S. researchers are grappling with the same conflicts, according to —> Read More Here


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