Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Big Food Money buys Study Results!

Hot on the heels of yesterday's post (detailing Big Milk's Info-Udy) comes proof that my cynicism is well warranted.

A non-industry funded study in this month's Public Library of Science Journal looked at the relationship between the funding source and the conclusions among nutrition related scientific articles.

They identified three types of studies - interventional studies, observational studies and scientific reviews having to do with soft drinks, juice and milk published between January 1999 and January 2004. There were 206 articles in the study and of them 22% were funded by Big Food, 47% had no Big Food funding and 32% had mixed funding.

The studies were sadly not surprising.

For interventional studies (where a beverage was used as in intervention like increasing milk consumption to minimize fracture risk) the proportion of industry funded studies with results unfavourable to the intervention was ZERO percent comapared with 37% for non-industry funded studies.

So not a single interventional study funded by Big Food provided a result or conclusion that was unfavourable to the funding source!

For all studies, the odds of a Big-Food-favourable conclusion vs. an unfavourable conclusion was 6.18 times more likely if the study was funded by Big Food, a number that rose to 7.61 times if you eliminated the neutral studies.

Again I have to reiterate, think about where you read it - always, always question the source!