Sweetener industry body returns bias accusation

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Sweeteners: global sales of stevia continue to grow
Sweeteners: global sales of stevia continue to grow

Related tags Scientific method Critical thinking

An international sweeteners body has slammed a study that claimed industry-supported research into low-calorie sweetened beverages and weight outcomes was more likely to show favourable results.

The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) said the study, by Mandrioli et al and published in Plos One, offered “misleading and biased”​ conclusions.

Four sponsored reviews

The study looked at four sponsored reviews, and found that three gave favourable results.

Meanwhile, just one out of 23 non-sponsored reviews offered favourable conclusions. It concluded that review sponsorship and authors’ financial conflicts of interest “introduced bias”​ that “could not be explained by other sources”

‘Questionable conclusions’

The ISA criticised the study’s “questionable conclusions”​, as it was based on only four industry-supported reviews.

It claimed the reviews were not comparable in terms of their methodology and hierarchy of evidence, as some were based on qualitative evidence only.

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