It has emerged that recent scientific research claiming diet drinks could be better than water in helping people to lose weight, was funded by a body that includes Coca-Cola and PepsiCo among its members.
The study that highlighted the ‘benefits of diet beverages’ was published in the International Journal of Obesity.
RT reports: The 14-page research paper, led by Peter Rogers, professor of biological psychology at Bristol University, appeared in the International Journal of Obesity in November. It claimed that people who consume diet drinks could be more likely to lose weight than those who drink water.
Later, however, some curious details about the study appeared.
It turns out that the research was funded by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe, whose members include drinks giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
Both companies are also part of the Eating Behaviour and Energy Balance Task Force, a group which aims to raise awareness of healthy eating, and which has Professor Rogers as its co-chair.
The Sunday Times has also reported that some of the authors of the study received some £750 (around $1,070) each from the taskforce.
The study’s industry-connected funding was never revealed by Bristol University, the paper noted.
The discoveries resulting from the research were also contrary to previous studies of diet drinks: while over 5,500 papers were reviewed for the study, the results were drawn from only three of them.
Two papers didn’t discover any difference between water and diet drinks, and another paper – sponsored by the American Beverage Association – came to the conclusion that people consuming diet drinks were more likely to lose weight than those who prefer water.
Scientists also consider the latest research doubtful, to say the least.
Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, advisor to the National Obesity Forum, told the Independent, “To suggest that diet drinks are more healthy than drinking water is laughable, unscientific nonsense.”
“If you want good science you cannot allow corporate sponsorship of research,” he added.
While many dieters have been opting for low calorie diet drinks as an an aid to losing weight, a study conducted last year showed that drinking diet sodas actually added inches to a person’s waist measurement.
Not only that but findings were consistent with previous research that linked diet sodas to an increased risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and other medical problems