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Comment & Response
July 3, 2018

Conflicts of Interest in Nutrition Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, Oakland
  • 3Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
JAMA. 2018;320(1):93. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.5658

To the Editor Drs Ioannidis and Trepanowski1 argued that the complexity of nutrition research creates special vulnerability to bias. However, we are concerned that their remedy—researchers’ disclosure of personal beliefs and practices—distracts from the main problem, lacks objectivity, and may impede academic freedom.

As with pharmaceutical research, industry funding of nutrition research predicts scientific findings favorable to sponsors’ interests with odds ratios greater than 3.2-4 Recent regulations, including study preregistration and protective contractual clauses, have aimed to rectify this problem, but a major threat to scientific integrity and public health persists.

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