Coca-Cola Funded Study Claims Diet Soda May Be Healthier than Water

Coca-Cola Funded Study Claims Diet Soda May Be Healthier than WaterA new study claiming diet beverages may be more beneficial to weight loss than water was funded by Coke, Pepsi, and other soft drink conglomerates.

The analysis, published in November in the International Journal of Obesity by a professor at the University of Bristol, concluded that low energy sweeteners (LES) in place of sugar “in children and adults, leads to reduced EI [energy intake] and BW [body weight], and possibly also when compared with water.

The study, a “systematic review” titled, “Does low-energy sweetener consumption affect energy intake and body weight?” disclosed it was partly funded by the International Life Sciences Institute-Europe (ILSI).

Though the name seems neutral — and its board of directors includes qualified scientists — other members’ positions on the board suggest ulterior motives. Doctors from Nestle, Mars, Unilever, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola serve on ILSI’s board of directors.

Further, these directors elect the board’s officers, three of five of whom represent corporations.

The lead scientist in the study, Dr. Peter Rogers, a professor of biological psychology at Bristol University, is also the co-chair of ILSI’s Eating Behaviour and Energy Balance Task Force.

That task force is populated by doctors representing companies like DuPont, the notorious chemical giant, and Johnson & Johnson. The task force’s chair is a doctor from Unilever, while the Vice-Chair is a doctor from Nestle.

Further, as Consumerist detailed:

[O]ne of the researchers himself is an employee of ILSI Europe, while the study’s lead author previously received research funding from a group called ‘Sugar Nutrition, UK,’ an industry lobbying group formerly known as the British Sugar Bureau.

Others on the team have previously been paid for research by the Dutch Sugar Bureau, UK sweetener brand Canderel, or are — as disclosed at the end of the study — ‘employees and shareholders of companies that manufacture products containing sugars and low-energy sweeteners.’

See also: PepsiCo Finally Comes Clean And Admits The Truth About Their Bottled Water

While the study disclosed it was partially funded by ILSI and other sugar interests, it failed to note that each co-author of the analysis was individually paid €750, or about $850.

Additionally, in a press release, the University of Bristol failed to acknowledge the study’s industry funding. As the Sunday Times reported, when asked, the university said “other organisations had supported the work and it had not provided details of funding for ‘reasons of space.’”

Unsurprisingly, the analysis, which surveyed scientific literature on the subject published through February of last year, employed questionable methodology. As the Independent explained:

Although more than 5,500 papers were reviewed, the comparison of diet drinks with water was based on just three.

Two did not find any significant statistical difference in weight loss, and only one paper, funded by the American Beverage Association, found that those drinking diet drinks were more likely to lose weight.”

The American Beverage Association includes members like Coca Cola and Pepsi, and its study was criticized for the apparent conflict of interest.

Responding to criticism of the paper currently in question, a spokesperson for the University pointed out that it was peer-reviewed before publication:

This research was published in the International Journal of Obesity, a peer-reviewed journal, which means the data and conclusions have been scrutinized by other scientists. We therefore stand by the findings.

It was funded by a range of bodies including the NHS and European Union, as well as ILSI Europe,” a statement said.

Though the statement seems reasonable, it is worth noting that the peer-to-peer review process has been criticized in recent years for failing to adequately evaluate the merits of scientific papers.

Regardless, a cardiologist and advisor to the National Obesity Forum, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, discounted the University of Bristol study’s conclusions.

To suggest that diet drinks are more healthy than drinking water is laughable unscientific nonsense,” he told the Independent. Multiple studies have found a link between diet drinks and weight gain, as well as other life-threatening ailments.

Criticism regarding the integrity of Rogers’ study parallels similar skepticism of corporate-funded scientific research.

Late last year, following widespread outrage, the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine returned $1 million donated by Coca Cola, which had granted the money to establish a group intended to promote diet and exercise while downplaying the role of sugary drinks in the obesity epidemic.

Though Coke feigned a hands-off approach in its relationship with the group, leaked emails showed they viewed the opportunity as a business strategy.

Coke’s chief health and science officer, Rhona Appelbaum, wrote, “Akin to a political campaign, we will develop, deploy and evolve a powerful and multi-faceted strategy to counter radical organizations and their proponents.” She has since resigned.

The University of Bristol’s study is only one in a growing list of purported scientific research funded by corporate behemoths and intended to serve their interests.

It was recently revealed, for example, that Monsanto funded herbicide studies the EPA used in its decision to approve them as “safe.” More generally, some scientists have condemned what they view as the corporate corruption of scientific research.

Indeed, Coke’s chief executive, Muhtar Kent, recently said the company has “spent almost $120 million since 2010 to pay for academic health research and for partnerships with major medical and community groups involved in curbing the obesity epidemic,” reported the New York Times.

Whether those studies actually serve their stated purpose or promote a profit-driven agenda is debatable, to say the least.

As Dr. Malhotra said of Dr. Rogers’ recent analysis, “If you want good science you cannot allow corporate sponsorship of research.”

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Scientists Discover A Second Brain In Human Body, And It’s Located In The Butt

It turns out those gut feelings or pits in your stomach may actually come from your second...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

First Ever Study of Unvaccinated Vs. Vaccinated Kids, Pulled from Journal, Erased from Internet

In recent years, the glaring spotlight of skepticism has been turned to the topic of vaccines, bitterly dividing parents and giving doctors of modern...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Alien Base for Giants Discovered in the Bucegi Mountains

In the summer of 2003, in an unexplored area of the Bucegi Mountains, a team from Zero Department (a top secret section of the...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Scientists Discover A Second Brain In Human Body, And It’s Located In The Butt

It turns out those gut feelings or pits in your stomach may actually come from your second...

The Mark: Will you wear this “beast tech” digital tattoo that can read your mind and operate your devices?

Over the next several years we’ll begin to see advanced bio-technologies hit the retail market. According to Tom Horn, author of On the Path...

Russian Government Calls For International Investigation Into U.S. Moon Landings & For Good Reasons

There are articles floating around the internet suggesting that the Russian government has claimed that America never landed on the moon. This is absolutely ridiculous. Neither the...

The New Hybrid Car That Runs on Air!

Over 3 million hybrid automobiles have been sold since 1999, and the innovative designs have only continued to rise in popularity. But now a...

United States Major General Blows The Whistle On What They Really Found On Mars

“The time to pull the curtain back on this subject is long overdue. We have statements from the most credible sources – those in...

Culture and Technologies of Control

Culture is not just the expression of individual interests and orientations, manifested in groups according to rules and habits but it offers identification with...

World Trade Center Ship Mystery

A remarkable piece of scientific detective work has revealed the wooden ship found beneath the wreckage of the World Trade Center was built just...

Living off the grid, Mick Dodge

Mick Dodge, he lives in a tree, doesn't wear shoes, and brushes his teeth with a pinecone Talk about living off the grid. About 25...