FOOD AND DRUG INDUSTRY CONFLICTS OF INTEREST INFLUENCES RESEARCH
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2014, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
SUGARY BEVERAGES AND OBESITY
The following was borrowed from Mercola.com (January 15, 2014):
Researchers reviewed 17 papers (with 18 conclusions) and found that 11 of them supported a significant link between sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain or obesity. They then reviewed them based on whether or not the authors reported any conflicts of interestÉ and here's where things got interesting.
Among studies with no conflict of interest, 10 out of 12 supported the association between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity or weight gain. Among studies with industry support, 5 out of 6 found no association.
In other words, in studies without industry support, 83 percent linked sugary beverages with weight gain. But in studies with industry support, 83 percent found no link at all.
It's a striking disparity and a likely reason why some research seems to fly in the face of common sense and show no connection between such drinks and obesity. Researchers noted:
"Those reviews with conflicts of interest were five times more likely to present a conclusion of no positive association than those without them.
ÉOur results confirm the hypothesis that authors of systematic reviews may draw their conclusions in ways consistent with their sponsors' interests."