Conflicts of interest in nutrition research
Over the July 4th weekend, a reader sent a link to a paper about to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition titled Increased fruit and vegetable intake has no discernible effect on weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
I took a look at the abstract:
Studies to date do not support the proposition that recommendations to increase F/V intake or the home delivery or provision of F/Vs will cause weight loss. On the basis of the current evidence, recommending increased F/V consumption to treat or prevent obesity without explicitly combining this approach with efforts to reduce intake of other energy sources is unwarranted.
This would seem to make some sense, no? But the dismissal of recommendations to increase fruit-and-vegetable consumption sent up red flags.
My immediate question: who paid for this study?
Here’s the conflict of interest statement.
Note the presence of companies making processed foods whose sales would decline if people ate more F&V.
A coincidence? I don’t think so, alas.
More evidence: just today, Bettina Siegel sent me her post on a paper sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association, once again with a predictable outcome.
When it comes to nutrition research, “guess the sponsor” is a game that is all too easy to win.