Food Corps Can BUY Research Results – Marion Nestle PhD

Industry corrupts science. So says celebrated nutrition expert and best-selling author, Professor Marion Nestle. Prof. Nestle levels thoughtful criticism against food and beverage companies which, she says, use questionable science and marketing to push their own agendas. There is indeed something rotten in the state of dietary science. In this wide-ranging one-hour discussion, Professor Nestle discusses Research Contract Organizations, which openly offer their services to food companies to design and perform studies with virtually guaranteed results. The companies can then use such results for marketing purposes. Nutrition studies are very easy to rig, according to Nestle. Around 30% of researchers fail to report conflicts such as financial interests or money received. Prof. Nestle also discusses the NIH and USDA findings that antioxidants like carotenoids and the rest – have no proven health effects. Yet food companies and even nutrition professionals regularly make health assertions around antioxidants, where little or no evidence exists to support the claims. She discusses how studies of “one food” such as nuts or blueberries or spices or other single foods are “highly suspect,” and that such reductionistic research should be scoffed at and not taken seriously. Only overall “dietary pattern” is relevant in the complex connection between food and longterm health, she says. No one food makes a diet healthful. Prof. Nestle lays out the current landscape of nutrition science, where corporate marketing regularly attempts to disguise itself as science.

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