Bias in Soft Drink Studies

by F.

The FT reports on a new study “by doctors in PloS Medicine, an online medical journal,” that “highlighted the potential for considerable bias in articles about soft drinks, fruit juices and milk in leading nutrition journals.” Specifically,

Of the 206 articles in serious academic journals it analysed, more than half of those who disclosed sponsorhip were fully or partly funded by the industry. Those that were industry-sponsored were between four and eight times more likely to draw favourable conclusions….

Examples included two on the positive effects of milk on bone mass and nutrients in the elderly supported by the US and Australian dairy industry; improved lipid levels of orange juice funded by Tropicana; and the absence of any link between dehydration and cola or coffee, funded by Coca-Cola.

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