Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Coca Cola funded research to delink soft-drinks and obesity

A ‘Conflict of interest’ has often been the bane of medical research. There are various ways to subtly push conclusions that support your interests.

Accusations

The soft-drinks industry is often accused of contributing to the modern obesity epidemic. The high-fructose corn syrup, used as a sweetener, in such drinks is also blamed for the increase in the incidence of diabetes.

The artificial sweeteners used in the ‘diet’ or low-calorie versions of such drinks are no better either. Contrary to the common belief, they may make you eat more. They are also toxic to your body by harming your gut bacteria. Read an article on this website: Artificial sweeteners are toxic to your body.

Claims by Beverages Industry

Coca Cola was found funding millions of dollars for research to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity.

Coca Cola has been funding ‘research’ that claims “obesity is not about the foods or beverages you’re consuming, it’s that you’re not balancing those foods with exercise”.

Coca Cola also paid dieticians to project the company’s soft-drinks as healthy snacks.

A recent analysis of beverage studies found that those funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts.

In a similar industry, it was reported that chocolate- and candy-makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.

Evidence

In a rigorous study, scientists put 200 overweight, sedentary adults on an aggressive exercise program, with no change in diet. Participants exercised five to six hours a week. After a year, the men had lost an average of just 1.5 kg, the women 1 kg.

There is significant evidence in medical literature that shows that maintaining weight loss is easier when people limit their intake of high glycemic index foods such as soft-drinks and other refined carbohydrates.

There are many ways people can lose weight. But, many studies suggest that those who keep the weight off for good, should consume fewer calories.

In conclusion

Check the funding sources for any ‘research’ article. Use common sense.

First published on: 12th August, 2015

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