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The characteristics and extent of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed research articles from 10 leading nutritionrelated journals in 2018

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2020, 00:00 authored by Gary SacksGary Sacks, D Riesenberg, M Mialon, S Dean, Adrian CameronAdrian Cameron
Introduction There is emerging evidence that food industry involvement in nutrition research may bias research findings and/or research agendas. However, the extent of food industry involvement in nutrition research has not been systematically explored. This study aimed to identify the extent of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed articles from a sample of leading nutrition-related journals, and to examine the extent to which findings from research involving the food industry support industry interests. Methods All original research articles published in 2018 in the top 10 most-cited nutrition- and dietetics- related journals were analysed. We evaluated the proportion of articles that disclosed involvement from the food industry, including through author affiliations, funding sources, declarations of interest or other acknowledgments. Principal research findings from articles with food industry involvement, and a random sample of articles without food industry involvement, were categorised according to the extent to which they supported relevant food industry interests. Results 196/1, 461 (13.4%) articles reported food industry involvement. The extent of food industry involvement varied by journal, with The Journal of Nutrition (28.3%) having the highest and Paediatric Obesity (3.8%) having the lowest proportion of industry involvement. Processed food manufacturers were involved in the most articles (77/196, 39.3%). Of articles with food industry involvement, 55.6% reported findings favourable to relevant food industry interests, compared to 9.7% of articles without food industry involvement. Conclusion Food industry involvement in peer-reviewed research in leading nutrition-related journals is commonplace. In line with previous literature, this study has shown that a greater proportion of peer-reviewed studies involving the food industry have results that favour relevant food industry interests than peer-reviewed studies without food industry involvement. Given the potential competing interests of the food industry, it is important to explore mechanisms that can safeguard the integrity and public relevance of nutrition research.

History

Journal

PLoS ONE

Volume

15

Issue

12

Pagination

1 - 15

Publisher

PLOS

Location

San Francisco, CA

eISSN

1932-6203

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, Sacks et al.