Nutrition data follow sponsorship

Findings from nutritional research appear to bolster sponsors' commercial interests

Chris Womack
Jan 9, 2007
Industry-supported nutritional research on milk, juice, and soft drinks is as much as seven times more likely to support its sponsors than research paid for by disinterested parties, according to a study published this week in the Public Library of Science.While research has demonstrated sponsorship bias in pharmaceutical investigations, the relatively limited study by a team at Children's Hospital Boston marks the first systematic effort to measure such bias in nutritional research. The authors hope that the findings will help open a discussion of bias and funding in nutrition research, and whether the source of sponsorship is subtly affecting investigations or preventing negative results from being published."One of the key concerns is, if independent funding for nutrition research is inadequate, then industry funding is going to look especially attractive to researchers," possibly opening the door for more bias, senior author David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight...

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