Previously, I told you about Big Sugar trying to convince the public that sugar is not as bad for your health as what years of scientific research has proven time and again.
Despite making this ridiculous (and very unscientific) claim, Big Sugar managed to use its power and influence to get their bogus claim published in a prestigious medical journal.
Of course, there’s another industry that enjoys almost unconditional support from so-called “unbiased” scientific community: fizzy drinks manufacturers (Big Fizz).
No fuss for Big Fizz
According to a recent study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the bias involved in studies that defend sugar-sweetened beverages is striking — even by industry-sponsored study standards.
For the study, researchers analysed 60 trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Of all the research material reviewed, 26 found no link between sugar-sweetened beverages and diabetes or obesity.
And guess what? Those 26 studies just so happened to be funded by Big Sugar. But that should come as no surprise, because it is a known fact that Big Sugar and fizzy drinks manufacturers have always been bedfellows.
However, of the other 34 studies — the ones that linked diabetes and obesity with the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages — only 1 received funding from the sugar industry.
In other words, studies funded by Big Sugar were 34 times more likely than independent studies to find that sugar-sweetened beverages are not linked to diabetes and obesity.
It’s no wonder the public has been struggling for so long to realise just how detrimental sugar (and fizzy drinks) are to their health. With deceptive scientific data like this who can blame them? Even more so when health regulators are all too happy to accept handouts from Big Sugar and Big Fizz any chance they get… just like the researchers they’re supposed to be keeping on the straight and narrow.
But here’s the problem when it comes to research: Funding can be a potential source of bias. Especially if studies are designed to prove a specific point. Because let’s be honest, Big Sugar and fizzy drinks manufacturers aren’t going to support research that says negative things about the very products they’re trying to sell us.
For that reason, bias is hard to completely rule out. But the bias proven by this study is so far out of the ordinary that it’s truly shocking.
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