by Marion Nestle
Jan 21 2016

This week’s five industry-funded studies. The score: 105/9.

I’ve collected five more studies funded directly or indirectly by food companies or trade associations, with results useful for marketing purposes.  This brings the total to 105 that I’ve noticed since last March versus only 9 with results that must have disappointed the sponsors.

Canned Vegetable and Fruit Consumption Is Associated with Changes in Nutrient Intake and Higher Diet Quality in Children and Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2010Marjorie R. Freedman, PhD; Victor L. Fulgoni III, PhD.  J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2015.10.013.

  • Conclusions: Results suggest CVþCF consumption was associated with higher intake of select nutrients, a higher-quality diet, and comparable adiposity measures and blood pressure.
  • Funding for this project was received from the Canned Food Alliance.  As senior vice president at Nutrition Impact, LLC, V. L. Fulgoni III provides food and nutrition consulting and database analyses for various members of the food and beverage industry.  No potential conflict of interest was reported by M. R. Freedman.

Regular Fat and Reduced Fat Dairy Products Show Similar Associations with Markers of Adolescent Cardiometabolic Health.   O’Sullivan, T.A.; Bremner, A.P.; Mori, T.A., Beilin, L.J., Wilson, C., Hafekost, K., Ambrosini, G.L., Huang, R.C., Oddy, W.H..Nutrients 2016, 8, 22.

  • Conclusion: Although regular fat dairy was associated with a slightly better cholesterol profile in boys, overall, intakes of both regular fat and reduced fat dairy products were associated with similar cardiometabolic associations in adolescents.
  • Conflicts of Interest: Therese A. O’Sullivan received a grant from The Dairy Health and Nutrition Consortium Australia…which provided funding for the analysis and write up of this study. No other authors declare a conflict of interest.

Suboptimal Plasma Long Chain n-3 Concentrations are Common among Adults in the United States, NHANES 2003–2004. Rachel A. Murphy, Elaine A. Yu, Eric D. Ciappio, Saurabh Mehta and Michael I. McBurney   Nutrients 2015, 7, 10282–10289; doi:10.3390/nu7125534.

  • Conclusion: Suboptimal LCn-3 [omega-3] concentrations are common among U.S. adults. These findings highlight the need to increase LCn-3 intake among Americans.
  • Conflicts of Interest: M.I.M., E.D.C. and R.A.M. are employees of D.S.M. Nutritional Products, L.L.C., manufacturers and suppliers of omega-3 nutritional lipids. E.Y. and S.M. have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Red Raspberries and Their Bioactive Polyphenols: Cardiometabolic and Neuronal Health Links.  Britt M Burton-Freeman, Amandeep K Sandhu, and  Indika Edirisinghe.  Adv Nutr January 2016 Adv Nutr vol. 7: 44-65, 2016. doi: 10.3945/​an.115.009639

  • Conclusion: The body of research is growing and supports a potential role for red raspberries in reducing the risk of metabolically based chronic diseases.
  • Funding: Supported in part by various donors and the National Processed Raspberry Council.

Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction. Aedín Cassidy, Mary Franz, and Eric B Rimm.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. First published ahead of print January 13, 2016 as doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.122010.

  • Conclusions: These data suggest that a higher habitual intake of specific flavonoid-rich foods is associated with reduced ED incidence. Intervention trials are needed to further examine the impact of increasing intakes of commonly consumed flavonoid-rich foods on men’s health.
  • Authors’ disclosure: AC and EBR received funding from the US Blueberry Highbush Council for a separate project unrelated to this publication.
  • Comment: The University of East Anglia, where the lead author works, sent out a press release “Blueberries associated with reduced risk of erectile dysfunction.”
  • Farmer with a Dell

    More than 550 researchers now charged by Marion Nestle with conflict of interest, impugned as having manipulated experimental outcomes. That’s a lot of corruption charges, a lot of lengthy investigations to complete if authors might eventually be vindicated of wrong doing.

    One heck of a lot of accusations.

    In the meantime, are you on the naughty list?

    ……(* author identified by Marion Nestle as “highly conflicted”)

    Richard H Adamson

    Lydia Afman

    Sherry Agellon

    David Aguilar

    Concepcion M Aguilera

    Kiran D K Ahuja

    David A D’Alessio

    Dominik D Alexander PhD MSPHab

    Michel Aliani

    Mark von Allmen

    Maria das G Almeida

    Akua F Amankwaah

    GL Ambrosini

    Bashar Amer

    Sarah Anderegg

    Catherine J Andersen

    Raiana L de Andrade

    Theodore J Angelopoulos

    Marjolein Ankersmit

    Mahendran Appukutty

    E Archer

    Fernando Arós

    Elizabeth Artalejo

    Christopher E Aston

    Arne Astrup

    R L Atkinson

    J Alejandro Austria

    Rockiy Ayettey

    Nancy Babio

    David J Baer

    Steven K Baker

    Madeleine J Ball

    Martha Nydia Ballesteros

    Marion Balz

    Katherine Baqleh

    Stephen Barnes

    TV Barreira

    Arpita Basu

    LB Bauer

    Laura L Bauer

    Jamie I Baum

    Nerea Becerra-Tomás

    Jimikaye Beck

    Carol Beevers

    LJ Beilin

    Charles Benbrook

    NT Bendsen

    S Berger

    Nathalie Bergeron

    Helle KM Bergholdt

    Adam M. Bernstein MD ScD

    Nancy M Betts

    Joseph Beyene *

    Aristea Binia

    Ashley Binns

    JK Bird

    Heike Bischoff-Ferrari

    Ann Bjørnshave

    Steven N Blair

    John E Blundell

    Raffaella Bocale

    Chris Boesch

    Mette Bohl

    Nicolas Bordenave PhD

    Dienke J Bos

    Nabil E Boutagy

    Hakim Bouzamondo

    José Brandão-Neto

    Vaclav Brandejsky

    Michelle Braun

    George A Bray

    Leigh Breen

    AP Bremner

    Neil R Brett

    Carrie Brill

    S Brown

    Constance Brown-Riggs

    ST Broyles

    Nikki Buijs

    Marco Di Buono *

    Britt M Burton-Freeman

    Jeffrey H Burton

    Laurie T Butler

    Stephanie PB Caligiuri

    L Camou

    Wayne W Campbell

    Vanessa Campos

    Michelle Cardel

    Amanda J. Carleton *

    SE Carlson

    K Carson

    Aedín Cassidy

    Ian D Caterson

    Shona Cawley

    CM Champagne

    JP Chaput

    Craig S Charron

    Prasanth K Chelikani

    Guo-Chong Chen

    Li-Hua Chen

    Ningning Chen

    Laura Chiavaroli *

    Arnaud Chiolero

    Sally Chiu

    FL Choo

    Vivian LW Choo

    Merete M Christensen

    Yi-Fang Chu PhD

    Amelia A Churnside

    Tyler A Churchward-Venne

    Timothy S Church

    Eric D Ciappio

    Roger Clemens

    Peter M Clifton

    J Colombo

    Kevin B Comerford

    Dolores Corella

    Miriam Margherita Cortese-Krott

    Adrian I. Cozma *

    L.M. Currie

    Trine K Dalsgaard

    Brenda M Davy

    Kevin P Davy

    C de Graaf

    Madison Demelloa MS

    Hans Demmelmair

    Gareth Denyer

    Camille Despland

    Andrés Díaz-López

    Eric L Ding

    Maureen A DiRienzo

    Giovambattista Desideri

    Georgina F Dodd

    Carolina Donat-Vargas

    Steve M Douglas

    Clemens Drenowatz PhD

    Adam Drewnowski

    Sarah Durston

    J Eales

    Andrea L Edel

    Marianne Smith Edge

    Indika Edirisinghe

    M Edwards

    M Eggersdorfer

    Ans Eilander

    M Elia

    Christina Ellervik

    Judi A Ellis

    Pauline M Emmett

    Frederick M. Enright

    Jodi L Ensunsa

    Rajaraman D Eri

    Dorte Eskesen

    Ramon Estruch

    George C Fahey Jr

    Andrew Fahim

    David Falk

    Michael C Falk

    Karin Fattinger

    Robin Feldman

    Maria Luz Fernandez

    Claudio Ferri

    Mario G Ferruzzi

    Heverton A.O. Figueiredo

    Miguel Fiol

    Montserrat Fitó

    M Fogelholm

    Mackenzie Fong

    Reedmond Fong

    Gary D. Foster

    Michael J Fox

    Peter Francis

    Mary Franz

    Marjorie R Freedman, PhD

    Jayne E Freeman

    Madlyn I Frisard

    Dagmar Fuchs

    Dongxu Fu

    Jonathan Fulford

    Victor L Fulgoni III, PhD

    Nicholas R Fuller

    Chenfei Gao

    Zhanguo Gao

    Ursula Garczarek

    Sarah K Gebauer

    Johanna M Geleijnse

    James Gerofi

    Peter R Giacobbi

    Roger D Gibb

    W. Gibson

    Angel Gil

    J Glanville

    Liana C Del Gobbo

    Janette de Goede

    Enrique Gómez-Gracia

    Miguel Ángel Martínez-González

    Jeannette Gootjes

    Susannah L Gordon

    Vishnupriya Gourineni

    Davide Grassi

    Michelle Gray

    Frank L Greenway MD

    Søren Gregersen

    Arno Greyling

    Randolph Guzman

    Vanessa Ha *

    K Hafekost

    Hongmei Han MS

    Shu-Fen Han PhD

    Gregory A Hand PhD

    Vic Hasselblad

    Peter T Katzmarzyk

    Robert P Heaney

    James R Hebert

    Amy J Hector

    Annemieke C Heijboer

    Christian Heiss

    Rina van Hekezen

    Andrea L Henning

    Sharon J Herring

    Annkatrin Herrmann

    Isabelle Herter-Aeberli

    Jan Heuel

    Kelly A Higgins

    S Higgs

    David W Hill

    James O Hill

    Marco Hoeksma

    Heather A Hoertel

    PS Hogenkamp

    Hannah D Holscher

    Jens J Holst

    Sinead Hopkins

    David Hopkins

    G Hu

    Youyou Hu

    RC Huang

    Carl J Hulston

    Matthew W Hulver

    Jordan E Immel

    George S Jackson

    PF Jacques

    Jonathan Jaeger

    Philip Jakeman

    Hamid Jan JM

    Alexandra L. Jenkins *

    Erik Jensen

    Lillian Jespersen

    EJ Johnson

    William D. Johnson PhD

    Valerie N Kaden

    David Kanter

    Hakima Karimi

    David L Katz

    PT Katzmarzyk

    Sanjay Kaul

    John W Kavanaugh

    Rebecca J Kean

    M L Kearney

    Carl L Keen

    Michael J Keenan

    Christian Keicher

    Kathleen M Kelley

    Malte Kelm

    Cyril WC Kendall *

    Rachel Kennedy

    Emmet Kerin

    E.H. Kerling

    Christina Khoo

    Jung Eun Kim

    Jennifer Kimball

    S King

    B. Jan Willem van Klinken MD PhD

    K. Knights

    F J Kok

    Berthold Koletzko

    HC Koo

    Wieneke P Koppenol

    Moritz Krabbe

    Thomas Kraemer

    Ronald M Krauss

    Roland Kreis

    Gunter G. C. Kuhnle

    A Kurpad

    R Kuriyan

    Catherine Kwik-Uribe

    EV Lambert

    Daniel J Lamport

    José Lapetra

    Idamarie Laquatra

    Mette K Larsen

    Namson S Lau

    Paula Lavery

    A. Laviano

    Carl J Lavie MD

    Andrea L Lawless

    Maria Carmela Lechiara

    Heather J Leidy

    Lawrence A Leiter *

    Julia Le Jeune

    I Lenoir-Wijnkoop

    Kara Lewis

    Misti J Leyva

    Yan-Jie Li

    Josivan G. de Lima

    A Lluch

    Julie A Lovegrove

    Rogier Louwen

    Natalie D Luscombe-Marsh

    Joanna Luttikhold

    Timothy J Lyons

    S. Maaske

    Thane G Maddaford

    C Maher

    J Maia

    Kevin C Maki

    DJ Mela

    Carmine Marini

    Jonathon L Maguire

    George R Marcotte

    Oonagh Markey

    Tania P Markovic

    Berdine R Martin

    Corby K Martin PhD

    Maria V Martin

    Roy J. Martin

    J Alfredo Martínez

    Luis Martinez MD MPH

    Daniela Mastroiacovo

    V Matsudo

    Richard D Mattes

    Michael I McBurney

    George P McCabe

    Linda McCabe

    Daniel McCartney

    William G McCormack

    Brian K McFarlin

    Ryan P McMillan

    Johnson W McRorie Jr.

    Anna CQ de Medeiros

    Saurabh Mehta

    Sonia Blanco Mejia

    DJ Mela

    Marc W Merx

    Maria D Mesa

    Birgit Michelsen

    Ratna Mukherjea

    Paula E Miller MPHb

    Arash Mirrahimi *

    Dariush Mozaffarian

    M Mohamed

    Tony Y Momma

    TA Mori

    G Montopoli

    M Montopoli

    Cathrine M Morberg

    A Muhima

    Laura Mullaney

    Stefan Müller-Lissner

    Caoileann H Murphy

    Rachel A Murphy

    Mohd Nasir MT

    Stefano Necozione

    AR Ness

    Theresa A Nicklas

    Kristin M Nieman

    C Ning

    Valentine Yanchou Njike

    Børge G Nordestgaard

    AK Norimah

    K Norman

    C Normand

    Kate Northstone

    Catherine Norton

    Janet A Novotny

    AR Nurliyana

    WH Oddy

    Lorraine O’Driscoll

    Amy C O’Higgins

    T Olds

    Carolyn E O’Neil

    Sadhbh O’Neill

    MK Ong

    V Onywera

    Bob Oranje

    Laura C Ortinau

    Marianne O’Shea PhD.

    Kristin . Osterberg

    TA O’Sullivan

    Javier I Ottaviani

    Ana N Paiva

    Amanda E Paluch

    Zhaoxing Pan

    Gonca Pasin

    S Passino

    G Pavela

    Jessica W Pawlowski

    Munro Peacock

    Christine L Pelkman

    Jason Pelzel

    C Penfold

    Antonio J Perez-de-la-Cruz

    R Perry

    John C Peters

    Paul Petraro

    Adel Pezeshki

    Stuart M Phillips

    Grant N Pierce

    Luana Pistacchio

    Eric A Prado

    Vivek K Prasada MD MDH PhD

    A Prentice

    P Putz

    Li-Qiang Qin PhD

    A Raben

    Angelo Raffaele

    Tia M Rains

    G Raman

    Oscar D Rangel-Huerta

    Rouyanne T Ras

    Kia V Rasmussen

    Frank Rauch

    Rosa M Lamuela-Raventós

    TF Raziani

    Candida J Rebello MS RD

    Holly Reiland, BS

    L J Reynolds

    Adriana A. Rezende

    Maria C Rico

    Roberta Righetti

    Herman Rijna

    Eric B Rimm

    James M Rippe

    Alma E Robles

    Delfin Rodriguez-Leyva

    Ana Rodriguez-Mateos

    PJ Rogers

    Emilio Ros

    Michael F. Roizen MD

    Darrell A Russell

    Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein

    Amanda Sainsbury

    Aleix Sala-Vila PhD

    Jordi Salas-Salvadó MD PhD

    Jill N. Best Sampson

    Amandeep K Sandhu

    Roberto Sansone

    OL Sarmiento

    Jean Saunders

    R Drew Sayer

    Carmen Sayón-Orea

    Andreas Schild

    Arianne L Schild

    Anne Grethe Schioldan

    Philippe Schneiter

    Hagen Schroeter

    Dominik Schuler

    Tim Schulze-König

    John L Sievenpiper

    Lluís Serra-Majem

    Mercè Serra-Mir RD

    Rebecca S Shafer

    R Shamir

    Robin P Shook

    William Shrapnel

    JL Sievenpiper

    Anurag Singh

    Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD

    C. Smith

    Sabita S. Soedamah-Muthu

    Kris Sollid

    José V Sorlí

    Maria J Soto

    Russell J de Souza

    Jeremy PE Spencer

    M Standage

    Colin D Steer

    LC Stevens

    Joseph R Stevens

    Xuemei Suia MD MPH PhD

    DK Sullivan

    Barbara Sutherland

    Kelly S Swanson.

    Hans-Arno Synal

    Ignatius MY Szeto PhD

    SY Tan

    Luc Tappy

    ES Tee

    Frank Thielecke

    J.M. Thodosoff

    T Tholstrup

    TK Thorning

    J P Thyfault

    Chelsie B Todd

    Estefanía Toledo MD MPH PhD

    EA Tolley

    Francisco Tomas-Barberan

    Cheryl D Toner

    Clodagh Toomey

    Elke A Trautwein

    MS Tremblay

    Judith A Treu

    C Tudor-Locke

    John Turner

    Michael J Turner

    Marcela A.G. Ururahye

    Herlindo Valdez

    Fabrizio Valenzuela

    Fernando Vallejo

    Cinta Valls-Pedret MSc

    Monique GM de Sain-van der Velden

    Stephanie S. Vander Veur

    Rosanne M Van Diepen

    Paul AM van Leeuwen

    Luc JC van Loon.

    R J Joost van Neerven

    Klaske van Norren

    Catherine A Vanstone

    Joanna L Varley

    E Sanne Veerhoek

    Adam S Venable

    Michelle C Venables

    Carole Verhoeven

    Jakob L Vingren

    R Vishwanathan

    Christof Vockenhuber

    Arnold von Eckardstein

    Frank Wagner

    Rabea Wagstaff

    David D Wang *

    Connie M Weaver

    Peter Weber

    Douglas L Weed MD PhDc

    Wendy Weighell

    Hope A Weiler

    Eileen M Weinheimer-Haus

    Diane Welland

    Margriet S Westerterp-Plantenga

    Juliette MH Weusten

    Peter J Whorwell

    Claire M Williams

    Craig A Williams

    Kathryn H Williams

    Paul T Williams

    C Wilson

    Alexis C Wojtanowski

    Thomas MS Wolever *

    H Wood

    Stephen C Woods

    Amy J Wright

    J. Wu

    Holly R Wyatt

    Thomas P Wycherley

    Jia-Ying Xu PhD

    MR Yeomans

    Matthew Yu *

    Elaine A Yu

    Zeng-Li Zhang PhD

    P Zhao

    You-You Zhao PhD

    Jolene Zheng

    Michael B Zimmermann

    Diane Zimmermann

    Adam Z Zino

  • Andre

    The issue isn’t necessarily that the manipulation is deliberate, but rather, that the existence of a relationship between sponsor and researcher significantly skews research results in favor of the sponsor, on average. Not in every study, no, but overall, such large reviews have shown such science to be biased. Typically, the researchers believe there is no influence, but outcomes show that there IS influence. Scientists are vulnerable like everyone else to all sorts of influences and biases.

    Or from another angle: in a massive effort recently reported in Freakonomics, many groups of researchers worked in a collaborate effort to take 100 peer reviewed, published studies and try to replicate the results. They failed to do so in 61% of cases.

    Based on the evidence we have, it seems pretty clear that studies funded for marketing purposes (most industry funded studies) merit additional skepticism.

    If we could somehow uncover all the facts about their published research, though, I personally would bet that your list of scientists has some deliberate cheaters on it, and more numerously, unwitting folks who allowed sneaky study design to yield results that were then wordsmithed to misrepresent reality.

  • Andre
  • Farmer with a Dell

    First, let’s get straight the fact it is not “my” list, it is Marion Nestle’s list.

    You are absolutely correct Andre, there are cheaters on that list. We don’t know who they are, not all of the cheaters anyway.

    Some of us would think to evaluate each study in turn, ferret out those that clearly are flawed in design, method or conclusion, rigged if you will, to generate a predetermined outcome. Those need to be dealt with.

    Nestle, on the other hand, is content to impugn them all and call it a day. What is accomplished by that approach? The cheaters go on cheating. The offending funders continue shopping for more cheaters to corrupt. But what of the upstanding studies and researchers and funders? How is their situation improved, how is it brought more in line with the gold standard set by Nestle — an extremely limited output of research overshadowed by a proliferation of opinion generously funded by an endowed chair at a private university?

    The list is what it is, created by Marion Nestle and presented for what she implies we should believe it is. Your opinion, Andre, and mine are of no consequence except as spectators. What are we supposed to do about it? It is enough for us to know anyone on that growing list may be corrupt, indeed probably is corrupt. That is the point, is it not?

    So we have an extensive list of “unapproved” studies and authors. Where is the long list of approved studies and authors? Those are the one’s we need to be made aware of if we seek pristine unbiased information, no?

  • Farmer with a Dell

    OK, type I and type II error and the realities of the practice of science. I don’t have a subscription to The Economist but a little of the audio played and they make it sound like scientific research, all of it, is a complete waste of time and resources.

    So we should instead fall in line behind a guru we find most charismatic and trust them to make up only the most accurate fairy tales as they go along? Sure, that should work out OK, what could possibly go wrong?

    No thanks. Give me peer reviewed science, transparently reported, sufficiently funded. I can withstand the risk of sponsorship bias easier than I can withstand the shortcomings of geniuses on a shoestring budget or the untested ideology of pop scientists with books to sell and an agenda to push.

    The Economist didn’t mention the batting averages of the un-scientists. Why do you suppose that is Andre?

  • Farmer with a Dell

    Oh, one other thing about the list — I saw it here a while back. It seemed like such a good and fair idea I copy/pasted it and have kept it updated. Sort of a public service. I hope whoever did it originally isn’t too miffed — if they want to take over the task of updating it, please be my guest. It isn’t something I do with any particular pleasure.

  • Andre

    “Nestle, on the other hand, is content to impugn them all…”

    Your interpretation.

    “…and call it a day. What is accomplished by that approach?”

    My impression is that so far, she’s making a reasonable back-of-the envelope case that study results tend to favor the marketing efforts of their sponsors.

    I would be surprised if there is anyone else out there (Dr. Nestle included) who is updating a list of the scientists involved in all these studies. I’m sure the scientists in question wouldn’t mind that you are building a list of “impugned scientists” and making sure their names get included as appropriate.

    I think your typical observer of these blog posts walks away with the impression that studies tend to favor their sponsors. Which was what she was expecting to find.

    In the event that any research project in particular strikes their fancy, they have the details needed to find the study so that they can dig into the details.

  • Farmer with a Dell

    Well, if sponsors are influencing anything it would be those study authors.

    Worthwhile if we only understand how many there are — over 550! This is no bush league we’re watching here.

    It’s like they say; “you can’t tell the players without a program”

    What’s the problem Andre, did your name turn up on the list?

  • Andre

    Who cares? No one is calling for charismatic gurus over good peer reviewed science. Are you? No? Well, I’m not either, so I don’t know why you’d spend two paragraphs to strawman me like that.

    And the Economist did NOT make it look like scientific research was a complete waste of time and resources, you’re strawmanning them. They just describe how it comes to pass that a big chunk of published science is wrong. That’s not the same as saying science is a waste of time and resources.

    The point is that sponsored science often isn’t good science.

  • Farmer with a Dell

    Fine, so what is the better practical alternative?

    Do you have an artesian well of independent cash to anonymously fund the science we need to get done around here?

    Should industry simply bring their funded research in-house and keep the proprietary results strictly to themselves?

    How many endowed professorships and research programs have you anonymously funded in the past year, the past decade Andre? Who is going to pick up the slack on that?

    What’s the answer? I’m sure those researchers would be keen to hear your proposal.

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