From Dr. Mercola:
The junk food industry has a number of tricks up its sleeve to paint their disease-causing products in a better light. When your profits depend on people buying soda, candy, potato chips and other unhealthy snacks, good taste only goes so far.
Eventually, people begin to wonder just how bad these foods are for their bodies, especially in light of general trends toward healthier eating.
Such foods are carefully laboratory created to get you hooked, and once your cravings kick in for these extraordinarily addictive foods, the industry gives you reason to justify the indulgence via scientific research — research that the industry itself, of course, funded.
Funding scientific research gives the industry a certain level of control over the results. Although most researchers and sponsoring companies will insist the research is sound and unbiased, it’s well-known that industry-funded research almost always favors industry.
So when a study came out touting the surprising claim that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who don’t, it was not a surprise that the study was funded by a candy trade association representing some of the top U.S. candy makers.
Candy Industry Manipulates Science to Sell More Junk Food
“The only thing that moves sales,” Marion Nestle, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at New York University (NYU), told the Associated Press, “is health claims.”1 And if you can’t make health claims based on a product’s own merits, why not fund a study to drum some up?
The study in question was published in 2011 in Food & Nutrition Research. It followed 11,000 children and found those who ate candy were 22 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than children who did not.2
Further, the candy eaters even had lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation and a risk factor for heart disease. The findings were heavily publicized even though the paper’s authors even questioned its validity.
As reported by the Associated Press, which conducted an investigation into how food companies influence people’s thoughts about healthy eating, Carol O’Neil, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Louisiana State University (LSU), wrote to her co-author about the study, “We’re hoping they can do something with it — it’s thin and clearly padded.”3 The Associated Press continued:4
“Since 2009, the authors of the candy paper have written more than two dozen papers funded by parties including Kellogg and industry groups for beef, milk and fruit juice.
Two are professors: O’Neil of LSU and Theresa Nicklas, Ph.D., at the Baylor College of Medicine. The third is Victor Fulgoni III, Ph.D., a former Kellogg executive and consultant whose website says he helps companies develop ‘aggressive, science-based claims about their products.’
Their studies regularly delivered favorable conclusions for funders — or as they call them, ‘clients.’”
Industry Uses Science to Publicize the Results They Want
Sound scientific research should publish all the results from any given study, not only those that paint industry in