by Marion Nestle
Oct 8 2015

Five more industry-funded studies with expected results. Score 70:5

A reminder that since mid-March I’ve been collecting studies funding by food companies.  These greatly tend to produce results favorable to the sponsor’s interests.  Today’s group makes 70.  I have an ongoing call out for sponsored studies that don’t.  So far I’ve found 5 .  If you run across either kind, please send.

Breakfasts Higher in Protein Increase Postprandial Energy Expenditure, Increase Fat Oxidation, and Reduce Hunger in Overweight Children from 8 to 12 Years of Age. Jamie I Baum, Michelle Gray, and Ashley Binns.  J Nutr 2015;145:2229–35.

  • Conclusion: This study indicates that breakfast macronutrient composition affects postprandial responses in both NW [normal weight] and OW [overweight] children. A PRO [high protein breakfast] increases postprandial EE [energy expenditure] and fat oxidation, reduces hunger, and increases satiety when compared with a carbohydrate-based breakfast.
  • Funding: Supported by a grant from the Egg Nutrition Center/American Egg Board, Chicago, IL.
  • Added note: this one is a repeat of one posted earlier.

Dietary Whey and Casein Differentially Affect Energy Balance, Gut Hormones, Glucose Metabolism, and Taste Preference in Diet-Induced Obese RatsAdel Pezeshki, Andrew Fahim, and Prasanth K Chelikani. J. Nutr. 2015; 145:2236-2244 doi:10.3945/jn.115.213843

  • Conclusion: Together, these data demonstrate that in obese rats, whey, casein, and their combination improve energy balance through differential effects on food intake, taste preference, energy expenditure, glucose tolerance, and gut hormone secretion.
  • Funding: Supported by operating grants from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Innovates Bio-Solutions, Alberta Milk…Whey protein isolate for this study was donated by Agropur Dairy Cooperative (Canada).

Consumption of Yogurt, Low-Fat Milk, and Other Low-Fat Dairy Products Is Associated with Lower Risk of Metabolic Syndrome Incidence in an Elderly Mediterranean PopulationNancy Babio, Nerea Becerra-Tomás, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Dolores Corella, Ramon Estruch, Emilio Ros, Carmen Sayón-Orea, Montserrat Fitó, Lluís Serra-Majem, Fernando Arós, Rosa M Lamuela-Raventós, José Lapetra, Enrique Gómez-Gracia, Miguel Fiol, Andrés Díaz-López, José V Sorlí, J Alfredo Martínez, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, on behalf of the PREDIMED Investigators.  J. Nutr. 2015; 145:2308-2316 doi:10.3945/jn.115.214593

  • Conclusions: Higher consumption of low-fat dairy products, yogurt (total, low-fat, and whole-fat yogurt) and low-fat milk was associated with a reduced risk of MetS [metabolic syndrome] in individuals at high cardiovascular disease risk from a Mediterranean population. Conversely, higher consumption of cheese was related to a higher risk of MetS.
  • Funding: This study was funded in part by the Spanish Ministry of Health…Thematic Network…the European Regional Development Fund, and the Catalan Nutrition Center of the Institute of Catalan Studies.
  • Author disclosures: N Babio received consulting fees from Danone. R Estruch served on the board of, and received lecture fees from, the Research Foundation on Wine and Nutrition…E Ros served on the board of, and received travel support and grant support through his institution from the California Walnut Commission; served on the board of the Flora Foundation (Unilever)… L Serra-Majem is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and received consulting fees and grant support from the European Hydratation Institute, received lecture fees from the International Nut Council, and received travel support from Nestle. F Arós received payment for the development of educational presentations from Menarini and Astra Zeneca. RM Lamuela-Raventós serves on the board of, and received lecture fees from, the Research Foundation on Wine and Nutrition; received lecture fees from Cerveceros de España; and received lecture fees and travel support from PepsiCo. J Salas-Salvadó served on the board of, and received grant support through his institution from the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council; received consulting fees from Danone; and received grant support through his institution from Eroski and Nestlé. N Becerra-Tomás, MÁ Martínez-González, D Corella, C Sayón-Orea, M Fitó, J Lapetra, E Gómez-Gracia, M Fiol, A Díaz-López, JV Sorlí, and JA Martínez, no conflicts of interest.
  • Comment: This study was funded by independent agencies but the authors report many financial connections to food companies.

Type and amount of dietary protein in the treatment of metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.  Alison M Hill, Kristina A Harris Jackson, Michael A Roussell, Sheila G West, and Penny M Kris-Etherton.  Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 102:757-770 doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.104026

  • Conclusions: Weight loss was the primary modifier of MetS [metabolic syndrome] resolution in our study population regardless of protein source or amount. Our findings demonstrate that heart-healthy weight-loss dietary patterns that emphasize either animal or plant protein improve MetS criteria similarly.
  • Funding: Supported by The Beef Checkoff and the General Clinical Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Comment: The point of this study was to demonstrate that animal protein is not harmful.

Oral Vitamin D Supplements Increase Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Postmenopausal Women and Reduce Bone Calcium Flux Measured by 41Ca Skeletal LabelingAndreas Schild, Isabelle Herter-Aeberli, Karin Fattinger, Sarah Anderegg, Tim Schulze-König, Christof Vockenhuber, Hans-Arno Synal, Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, Peter Weber, Arnold von Eckardstein, and Michael B Zimmermann.  J. Nutr. 2015; 145:2333-2340 doi:10.3945/jn.115.215004

  • Conclusion: In healthy postmenopausal women, increasing serum 25(OH)D primarily affects calcium transfer from the central compartment to a fast exchanging compartment…A serum 25(OH)D concentration of ∼40 μg/L achieves ∼90% of the expected maximal effect on this transfer rate.
  • Funding: This study was supported by DSM Nutritional Products Ltd. and the ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Author disclosures: P Weber is employed by DSM Nutritional Products.
  • Comment: Although this study addresses a basic research question, its results favor the use of vitamin D supplements and, therefore, the interests of this supplement company.
  • LWC

    “Acute cocoa supplementation showed no clear overall benefit in T2D [type 2 diabetes] patients after a high-fat fast-food–style meal challenge. Although HDL cholesterol and insulin remained higher throughout the 6-h postprandial period, an overall decrease in large artery elasticity was found after cocoa consumption.”

    How does this favor Hershey’s? It says stuffing yourself with cocoa doesn’t help with T2 and stiffens your arteries. That’s not a conclusion that supports increasing cocoa consumption.

  • Ombudsman

    Professional integrity is a precious commodity. Unethical behavior is all too easily overlooked. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Marion Nestle, professor at New York University, for selflessly delivering a massive trove of conflict of interest charges impugning more than 400 of her colleagues in the field of nutrition research. In so doing whistleblower Nestle bravely exposes inexcusable failures by unnamed peer reviewers of some 70 separate papers to properly vouchsafe professional ethics and scientific integrity.

    Following is a roster naming authors of industry-funded research implicated by Dr. Marion Nestle as potentially corrupt, compiled directly from reports at her Food Politics website over an eight month period during 2015. These are authors whose “…methods and results require more than the usual level of scrutiny” as Dr. Nestle informs us.

    ( * following denotes an author identified by Dr. Marion Nestle as “highly conflicted”):

    Richard H Adamson

    Lydia Afman

    David Aguilar

    Concepcion M Aguilera

    Kiran D K Ahuja

    Michel Aliani

    Mark von Allmen

    Maria das G Almeida

    Akua F Amankwaah

    Bashar Amer

    Sarah Anderegg

    Catherine J Andersen

    Raiana L de Andrade

    Theodore J Angelopoulos

    Marjolein Ankersmit

    E Archer

    Fernando Arós

    Elizabeth Artalejo

    Christopher E Aston

    Arne Astrup

    J Alejandro Austria

    Nancy Babio

    David J Baer

    Steven K Baker

    Madeleine J Ball

    Martha Nydia Ballesteros

    Katherine Baqleh

    Stephen Barnes

    T V Barreira

    Arpita Basu

    L B Bauer

    Laura L Bauer

    Jamie I Baum

    Nerea Becerra-Tomás

    Carol Beevers

    Charles Benbrook

    N T Bendsen

    S Berger

    Helle K M Bergholdt

    Adam M Bernstein MD ScD

    Nancy M Betts

    Joseph Beyene *

    Aristea Binia

    Ashley Binns

    J K Bird

    Heike Bischoff-Ferrari

    Ann Bjørnshave

    Steven N Blair

    Raffaella Bocale

    Mette Bohl

    Nicolas Bordenave PhD

    Dienke J Bos

    Hakim Bouzamondo

    José Brandão-Neto

    Michelle Braun

    Leigh Breen

    S Brown

    S T Broyles

    Nikki Buijs

    Marco Di Buono *

    Jeffrey H. Burton

    Laurie T Butler

    Stephanie P B Caligiuri

    L Camou

    Wayne W Campbell

    Amanda J. Carleton *

    S E Carlson

    K Carson

    Ian D Caterson

    C M Champagne

    J P Chaput

    Craig S Charron

    Prasanth K Chelikani

    Ningning Chen

    Laura Chiavaroli *

    F L Choo

    Vivian LW Choo

    Merete M Christensen

    Yi-Fang Chu PhD

    T S Church

    Amelia A. Churnside

    Tyler A Churchward-Venne

    YiFang Chu

    E 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

    Hans Demmelmair

    Gareth Denyer

    Andrés Díaz-López

    Eric L Ding

    Maureen A DiRienzo

    Giovambattista Desideri

    Georgina F Dodd

    Carolina Donat-Vargas

    Steve M Douglas

    Adam Drewnowski

    Sarah Durston

    Andrea L Edel

    Marianne Smith Edge

    M Eggersdorfer

    Ans Eilander

    M Elia

    Christina Ellervik

    Judi A Ellis

    Frederick M. Enright

    Rajaraman D Eri

    Dorte Eskesen

    Ramon Estruch

    George C Fahey Jr

    Andrew Fahim

    David Falk

    Karin Fattinger

    Maria Luz Fernandez

    Claudio Ferri

    Mario G Ferruzzi

    Heverton A.O. Figueiredo

    Miguel Fiol

    Montserrat Fitó

    M Fogelholm

    Mackenzie Fong

    Michael J Fox

    Jayne E Freeman

    Dagmar Fuchs

    Dongxu Fu

    Jonathan Fulford

    Victor L Fulgoni III

    Nicholas R Fuller

    Chenfei Gao

    Zhanguo Gao

    Ursula Garczarek

    Sarah K Gebauer

    Johanna M. Geleijnse

    James Gerofi

    Peter R Giacobbi

    W. Gibson

    Angel Gil

    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 *

    Shu-Fen Han PhD

    Hongmei Han MS

    Gregory A Hand

    Robert P Heaney

    Amy J Hector

    Annemieke C Heijboer

    Christian Heiss

    Andrea L Henning

    Annkatrin Herrmann

    Isabelle Herter-Aeberli

    Jan Heuel

    Kelly A Higgins

    David W Hill

    James O Hill

    Marco Hoeksma

    Heather A Hoertel

    Hannah D Holscher

    Jens J Holst

    Youyou Hu

    G Hu

    Carl J Hulston

    Jordan E Immel

    George S Jackson

    Jacques PF

    Jonathan Jaeger

    Alexandra L. Jenkins *

    Erik Jensen

    Lillian Jespersen

    E J Johnson

    William D Johnson PhD

    Valerie N Kaden

    Hakima Karimi

    P T Katzmarzyk

    Rebecca J Kean

    M L Kearney

    Michael J Keenan

    Christian Keicher

    Kathleen M Kelley

    Malte Kelm

    Cyril W C Kendall *

    E H Kerling

    Christina Khoo

    Jung Eun Kim

    B Jan Willem van Klinken MD PhD

    K Knights

    Berthold Koletzko

    Wieneke P Koppenol

    Moritz Krabbe

    Thomas Kraemer

    Gunter G C Kuhnle

    A Kurpad

    R Kuriyan

    Catherine Kwik-Uribe

    E V Lambert

    Daniel J Lamport

    Rosa M Lamuela-Raventós

    José Lapetra

    Idamarie Laquatra

    Mette K Larsen

    Namson S Lau

    A Laviano

    C J Lavie

    Andrea L Lawless

    Maria Carmela Lechiara

    Heather J Leidy

    Lawrence A Leiter *

    Misti J Leyva

    Josivan G. de Lima

    Rogier Louwen

    Natalie D Luscombe-Marsh

    Joanna Luttikhold

    Timothy J Lyons

    S. Maaske

    Thane G Maddaford

    C Maher

    J Maia

    Kevin C Maki

    Carmine Marini

    George R Marcotte

    Tania P Markovic

    J Alfredo Martínez

    Luis Martinez MD MPH

    Berdine R Martin

    Corby K Martin PhD

    Maria V Martin

    Roy J Martin

    Daniela Mastroiacovo

    V Matsudo

    Richard D Mattes

    M I McBurney

    George P McCabe

    Linda McCabe

    Brian K McFarlin

    Anna C Q de Medeiros

    S Mehta

    Sonia Blanco Mejia

    Marc W Merx

    Maria D Mesa

    Birgit Michelsen

    Ratna Mukherjea

    Arash Mirrahimi *

    M Montopoli

    G Montopoli

    Cathrine M Morberg

    Stefan Müller-Lissner

    Caoileann H Murphy

    Stefano Necozione

    Theresa A Nicklas

    Kristin M Nieman

    Børge G Nordestgaard

    K Norman

    C Normand

    Janet A Novotny

    Lorraine O’Driscoll

    T Olds

    Sadhbh O’Neill

    Carolyn E O’Neil

    V Onywera

    Bob Oranje

    Laura C Ortinau

    Marianne O’Shea PhD.

    Ana N Paiva

    Gonca Pasin

    S Passino

    G Pavela

    Jessica W Pawlowski

    Munro Peacock

    Christine L Pelkman

    Jason Pelzel

    Antonio J Perez-de-la-Cruz

    John C. Peters

    Adel Pezeshki

    Stuart M Phillips

    Grant N Pierce

    Luana Pistacchio

    Eric A. Prado

    Li-Qiang Qin PhD

    A Raben

    Angelo Raffaele

    Tia M Rains

    G Raman

    Oscar D Rangel-Huerta

    Rouyanne T Ras

    Kia V Rasmussen

    Raziani T F

    Candida J. Rebello MS RD

    L J Reynolds

    Adriana A Rezende

    Maria C Rico

    Roberta Righetti

    Herman Rijna

    James M Rippe

    Alma E Robles

    Delfin Rodriguez-Leyva

    Ana Rodriguez-Mateos

    Emilio Ros

    Michael F Roizen MD

    Amanda Sainsbury

    Aleix Sala-Vila PhD

    Jordi Salas-Salvadó MD PhD

    Jill N Best Sampson

    Roberto Sansone

    O L Sarmiento

    R Drew Sayer

    Carmen Sayón-Orea

    Arianne L Schild

    Andreas Schild

    Anne Grethe Schioldan

    Hagen Schroeter

    Dominik Schuler

    Tim Schulze-König

    John L Sievenpiper

    Mercè Serra-Mir RD

    Lluís Serra-Majem

    Rebecca S. Shafer

    Robin P Shook

    Sievenpiper JL.

    Anurag Singh

    Joanne L Slavin

    C Smith

    Sabita S Soedamah-Muthu

    Kris Sollid

    José V Sorlí

    Maria J Soto

    Russell J de Souza

    Jeremy P E Spencer

    M Standage

    L C Stevens

    D K Sullivan

    Kelly S Swanson.

    Hans-Arno Synal

    Ignatius MY Szeto PhD

    J M Thodosoff

    T Tholstrup

    T K Thorning

    J P Thyfault

    Chelsie B Todd

    Estefanía Toledo MD MPH PhD

    E A Tolley

    Francisco Tomas-Barberan

    Cheryl D Toner

    Elke A Trautwein

    M S Tremblay

    C Tudor-Locke

    John Turner

    Marcela A.G. Ururahye

    Herlindo Valdez

    Fabrizio Valenzuela

    Fernando Vallejo

    Cinta Valls-Pedret MSc

    Monique G M de Sain-van der Velden

    Rosanne M Van Diepen

    Paul A M van Leeuwen

    Luc J C van Loon.

    R J Joost van Neerven

    Klaske van Norren

    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

    Wendy Weighell

    Eileen M Weinheimer-Haus

    Diane Welland

    Margriet S Westerterp-Plantenga

    Juliette M H Weusten

    Peter J Whorwell

    Claire M Williams

    Craig A Williams

    Kathryn H Williams

    Thomas M S Wolever *

    Stephen C Woods

    Amy J Wright

    J Wu

    Thomas P Wycherley

    Jia-Ying Xu PhD

    E A Yu

    Matthew Yu *

    Zeng-Li Zhang PhD

    You-You Zhao PhD

    Zhao P

    Jolene Zheng

    Diane Zimmermann

    Michael B Zimmermann

    Adam Z Zino

    Cc: accused authors; implicated journals; implicated Universities; disclosed study sponsors; New York University Adminstration; Cornell University Administration

  • MikeS

    David Allison publishes a nice blog called Obesity and Energetics. Possibly many more industry-funded food studies are to be found there. One can only hope that in this age or corporatism, at least some corporate entities will do honest research, and openly publish their methods and results. BTW, does Bernie Sanders have a food platform?

  • MikeS

    Oops, forgot the link for those interested:

  • Pingback: Five more industry-funded studies with expected...()

  • Andre

    Conflict of interest does not necessarily mean dishonesty or fraud. Humans have biases. Metastudies demonstrate this bias: results do tend to favor the funder.

    Private companies don’t fund this work for altruistic reasons – that would be silly. Much of the money funding these studies has a specific marketing purpose. Nothing wrong with that, but it IS relevant who is paying the bills for the science.

  • valerie

    I agree with you. This study does not favor the sponsor.

    I gave up on pointing out those mistakes by Marion. I did it a few times in previous posts similar to this one, but Marion doesn’t seem to care at all. She seems more interested in pushing her views, no matter if she has to twist the data into knots to get there. I guess there is some irony to the situation.

  • marTin

    Andre if Marion says these studies are biased to benefit the funder then that is how it is. Who are you to go against Dr. Nestle to say there is no fraud when she makes it so obvious there must be? Just like Marion shows how these companies are paying dishonest scientists to have research come out just the way they want. This just proves everything we have always known about industry being evil and scientists being corrupt. That is how they mislead us to buy their junk so they can poison us Andre. Surely you must know that by now.

  • Andre

    You’re being thoroughly dishonest.

  • marTin

    So add my name to the list of hundreds of dishonest scientists Dr. Nestle has uncovered.

  • Andre

    “cocoa increased HDL cholesterol vs. placebo (overall Δ: 1.5 ± 0.8 mg/dL; P ≤ 0.01)”

    Seems like a sufficient basis to spread the word that cocoa “improves” HDL. No?

  • marTin

    If you survive the stroke, no?

  • LWC

    That’s really weak tea. Two out of the three reported conclusions were negative. No, I do not think that would suffice to spread the word. I think this is a poor example of what Nestle purports to be trying to demonstrate here, and thus undercuts the credibility of her effort.

  • Wolfgang Haak

    I like the principle of studying sponsorship and outcome, however the trouble is that the incoming data set may be incomplete (how big is the sponsorship, what other interests do a) the individuals b) their institutions represent, have all studies in the field been considered, what interests do “independent” studies not declare…) and so the outcome of this investigation could be treated as biased itself. Interestingly, Aaron Swartz was working on uncovering how sponsorship of legal opinions was biased by the sponsors, so this is topic that spans virtually all domains of research.