I’m moderating an online webinar on the new Slow Food book, Ark of Taste, with authors David S. Shields and Giselle Kennedy Lord. For information and registration click here. It’s at 4:00 p.m. EST.
Industry-funded study of the week: potatoes yet again
The Alliance for Potato Research & Education is explicitly “Dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of the role potatoes play in promoting the health of all people.”
As the Alliance explains:
Potatoes are a nutrient-rich vegetable and one of the top sources of potassium in Americans’ diets, yet they are often singled out as a food to limit. This recommendation is often based on misperceptions that eating potatoes is linked to increased cardiometabolic disease risk, even though potatoes contribute to overall fruit and vegetable consumption. However, a newly published study in the Journal of Nutritional Science finds that advice may be unwarranted
Guess who sponsored that study.
- The study: Potato consumption is not associated with cardiometabolic health outcomes in Framingham Offspring Study adults
Conclusion: In this prospective cohort, there was no adverse association between fried or non-fried potato consumption and risks of T2DM/IFG, hypertension or elevated triglycerides.
Funding: This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute …with additional support from the Alliance for Potato Research and Education. The funders had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article…The authors have declared that no conflict of interest.
Comment: We can argue about the effects of potatoes on insulin and blood sugar levels, a contentious issue because the ways they are cooked and prepared influence digestion of their starches to sugars and how quickly those sugars are absorbed. But industry funding confuses the arguments, as it has a high probbility of inducing more than the usual level of bias into the results. Much industry influence occurs at an unconscious level where it is unrecognized by rsearchers, so much so that they do not see it as a conflict of interest. I think it is.
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