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Invited Commentary
Health Care Policy and Law
November 2016

Food Industry Funding of Nutrition Research: The Relevance of History for Current Debates

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, New York
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1685-1686. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5400

Industry-sponsored nutrition research, like that of research sponsored by the tobacco, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, almost invariably produces results that confirm the benefits or lack of harm of the sponsor’s products, even when independently sponsored research comes to opposite conclusions.1 Although considerable evidence demonstrates that those industries deliberately influenced the design, results, and interpretation of the studies they paid for,2 much less is known about the influence of food-company sponsorship on nutrition research. Typically, the disclosure statements of sponsored nutrition studies state that the funder had no role in their design, conduct, interpretation, writing, or publication. Without a “smoking gun” it is difficult to prove otherwise.

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