Conclusions of nutritional studies correlate to funding source
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 22, 2007
Studies investigating the health effects of carbonated beverages, juice or milk are much more likely to be favorable if the project is financed by the related industry, according to a study in the Jan. 9 PLoS Medicine.
Researchers analyzed results and funding sources for 206 papers published from 1999 through 2003. The funding source was declared for 111. Industry funded 23 of these papers, and these projects were four to eight times more likely to find in favor of their products. The authors are particularly concerned about this phenomenon since some of these papers may influence government dietary guidelines and Food and Drug Administration regulation of health claims.
"We don't all take drugs, but we eat every day," said David Ludwig, MD, PhD, senior author and director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children's Hospital in Boston. "If the science base is compromised by conflict of interest, that's a top-order threat to public health."
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/01/22/hlbf0122.htm.