Food-industry conflicts of interest: newspaper revelations and five more studies with expected results: the latest collection
Don’t miss the article on the front page of today’s New York Times about Coca-Cola’s paying scientists who argue that obesity is more about exercise than diet (I’m quoted).
Last week, I posted two industry-funded studies with results that must have made their sponsors extremely unhappy.
But results like that are rare—so rare that the Washington Post wrote about one of them.
Today, I’m doing another in my series of posts of 5 (sometimes 6) studies sponsored by food and beverage companies for the purpose of obtaining results that can be used in marketing.
Since March, the count is 42 studies with results favorable to the sponsor but only 1 unfavorable (the other was from last year).
If you run across either kind, but especially industry-funded studies that don’t produce expected results, please send.
Dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Berger, S., Raman, G., Vishwanathan, R., Jacques, P.F., Johnson, E.J., 2015. Am J Clin Nutr ajcn100305. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.100305.
- Conclusion: Reviewed studies were heterogeneous and lacked the methodologic rigor to draw any conclusions regarding the effects of dietary cholesterol on CVD risk. [Implication: suggestions that eggs might raise cardiovascular risk are unwarranted]
- Sponsor: Supported by USDA agreement 1950-51000-073 and the American Egg Board, Egg Nutrition Center.
Milk intake is not associated with low risk of diabetes or overweight-obesity: a Mendelian randomization study in 97,811 Danish individuals. Helle KM Bergholdt, Børge G Nordestgaard, and Christina Ellervik. Am J Clin Nutr. doi: 10.3945/ajcn. 114.105049
- Conclusion: High milk intake is not associated with a low risk of type 2 diabetes or overweight-obesity, observationally or genetically via lactase persistence. The higher risk of type 2 diabetes in lactasepersistent individuals without milk intake likely is explained by collider stratification bias..
- Funding source: HKMB’s PhD project was partly funded by the Research Unit at Naestved Hospital, the Danish Dairy Research Foundation
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet retains effectiveness to reduce blood pressure when lean pork is substituted for chicken and fish as the predominant source of protein. R Drew Sayer, Amy J Wright, Ningning Chen, and Wayne W Campbell. Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 102:302-308 doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.111757
- Conclusion: The results indicate that adults with elevated BP [blood pressure] may effectively incorporate lean pork into a DASH-style diet for BP reduction.
- Sponsor: This paper is sponsored by the national pork board.
Relationship between lifestyle behaviors and obesity in children ages 9-11: Results from a 12-country study. Katzmarzyk PT, Barreira TV, Broyles ST, Champagne CM, Chaput JP, Fogelholm M, Hu G, Johnson WD, Kuriyan R, Kurpad A, Lambert EV, Maher C, Maia J, Matsudo V, Olds T, Onywera V, Sarmiento OL, Standage M, Tremblay MS, Tudor-Locke C, Zhao P, Church TS; ISCOLE Research Group.
- Conclusion: Behavioral risk factors are important correlates of obesity in children, particularly low MVPA [moderate to vigorous physical activity], short sleep duration, and high TV viewing. [Implication: what they eat and drink doesn’t matter]
- Sponsor: This research was supported by The Coca-Cola Company.
A systematic review of the cost and cost effectiveness of using standard oral nutritional supplements in community and care home settings. M. Elia, C. Normand, A. Laviano , K. Norman. Clinical Nutrition 2015, online ahead of print. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2015.05.010
- Conclusions: Overall, the reviewed studies, mostly based on retrospective cost analyses, indicate that ONS [oral nutritional supplement] use in the community produce an overall cost advantage or near neutral balance, often in association with clinically relevant outcomes, suggesting cost effectiveness. There is a need for prospective studies designed to examine primary economic outcomes.
- Authors’ disclosures: ME, CN and AL have received honoraria for giving independent talks at national/international conferences supported by industry. KN has received speakers’ fees as well as financial support for research projects by commercial companies.
- Comment: most studies of supplement use find little evidence of benefit. Taking honoraria from industry doesn’t sound like much of a problem unless these financial ties are with supplement companies. The authors do not specify and the journal’s editors must not require such specification. They should.