Biography

RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Industry funding bad, government funding good?

A new article in PLoSMedicine, which has been labeled a 'study' but is in reality an opinion piece, claims (against the preponderance of evidence) that artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) do not promote weight loss. They criticize some of the studies that say ASBs are associated with moderate weight loss as 'industry funded'.

Problem is, most of the authors are apparently Brazilian, paid (presumably) by the Brazilian government, and have separate research funding from the same government. A non-Brazilian, English author says two of his three affilitions are with Brazilian universities. There seems to be no other funding aside from a fellowship. 2% of Brazil's GDP comes from cane sugar. Think a pressing national interest, bolstered by research funding from the government, is likely to bias research? If not, then why should industry funding?

Borges MC, Louzada ML, de Sá TH, Laverty AA, Parra DC, et al. (2017) Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Response to the Global Obesity Crisis. PLOS Medicine 14(1): e1002195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002195

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