How sugary drink lobbies influence obesity research

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia

Scientific research and conflicts of interest cannot go hand in hand. The risk of influencing the conclusions of the studies is too high

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Ideally, the scientific research were always and in any case free and independent. Too often, however, it is precisely those who have the most interests who finance them and it is normal that consumer confidence tends to be low, given that these could be at least impartial if not even distorted. Now comes scientific confirmation, at least in relation to research carried out on sugary drinks and their relationship to weight gain.





Researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of theUniversity of Navarra in Spain they performed a systematic review of 18 conclusions obtained from as many scientific researches published from 2006 to today. Among these there were 6 studies that saw scholars and financiers linked in some way to each other, i.e. a financial relationship with food industries with obvious interests in the matter.

What the Spanish researchers have noticed is that just in case there are conflicts of interest the chances that the result of the study are negative are 5 times greater (compared to a "free search"), that is, that it is possible to conclude that there are no scientifically proven connections of a correlation between sugary drinks and weight gain. In fact, 83,3% of studies carried out without conflict of interest, come to diametrically opposed conclusions that these drinks are instead a real risk factor for weight gain.

The research from the University of Navarre, therefore, published by the journal Plos Medicine, suggests in no uncertain terms that financial interests and scientific research cannot and should not go together, as it is the risk of influencing the study conclusions is too high with clear harm to consumers.



Read also:

- The 10 worst drinks for our health

- Fizzy drinks: 10 reasons to stop drinking them

- Sugar-free drinks most harmful to health (and diet)

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