Soda Industry-Funded Research Often Omits Link To Diabetes, Obesity


soda aisle in grocery storeThe soft drink industry may not be telling us the whole truth about its sweet beverages.

University of California researchers found that the studies conducted by companies in the industry are more likely to hide any links to health conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

The researchers looked through 60 studies, all published between 2001 and 2016. Each study was funded by the industry. None of them reported any link between obesity, diabetes and the sugary drinks.

Of 34 studies that did find links between the health conditions and soda, only one company within the soft drink industry funded one of those.

The results were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, told The Independent that this research proves that industry-funded studies can show bias.

“Importantly, industry-funded research can undermine health and distort public health messages,” Heneghan continued. “Therefore, it is essential that the public is made aware of study funding and its effect. Policymakers and decision makers should always seek out the source of funding when assessing whether a study is more likely to be true or not and ensure non-industry studies are used, when available, to inform policy.”