Essay Example on When alcohol research was typed into the search Bar

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When alcohol research was typed into the search bar the first results read Having a Drink May Help You Live Longer and Drink to your Health in Moderation the Science Says Alcohol Health Carroll It is not a surprise that headlines such as these attract the public's interest When health reports go against the nutrition advice the public has been told for generations it gathers attention While nutrition research in the headlines is not a problem it can become one when published studies have industry funded bias as it was in the case of the studies previously mentioned Industry funded studies are shown to be used as a marketing tool by companies which can compromise the validity of the research reduce the credibility of health care professionals target vulnerable consumers and influences policy makers Nestle In Relationship between Funding Source and Conclusion among Nutrition Related Scientific Articles it was found that beverage research funded by industry was four to eight times more likely to have a positive result for the company than research articles without industry related funding Lesser

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While only a few beverages were included in this study it is an indicator of the amount of bias that is in industry funded research and the way research is used as a marketing tool among the food and beverage industry In the 1990s Curtis Ellison published an article titled Does Moderate Alcohol Consumption Prolong Life Ellison This article gained media attention by its claims that drinking alcohol specifically red wine produced heart health benefits However the journal Addiction later published an article McCarthyism conflict of interest and addiction s new transparency declaration procedure that criticized Ellison for receiving donations from the alcohol industry Babor Since Ellison's research was published it has become more evident to the scientific community that this claim was incorrect and a result of industry funded bias however the damage has been done and the general public still believe these claims Rabin Marion Nestle criticizes in Corporate Funding of Food and Research Science the efforts of donors to use research as a marketing tool In her example she describes the study funded by Mars on cocoa flavanols She points out that through these studies Mars was able to have the public view their product as healthy despite the excess calories sugars and lack of flavanols in the actual product Nestle Similarly to Nestle's example research funded by companies such as the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States shines a positive light on alcohol through exaggerated health claims which distracts from the negative side effects of alcohol Distilled Industry funded research reduces the credibility of dietitians and other health care professionals I often hear from friends and family I don t trust what dietitians say because their advice changes every day 



While the nutrition guidelines are updated every five years the recommendations have remained fairly constant However industry funded research often promotes unhealthy products to the advantage of the company In the case of alcohol studies showing alcohol consumption to have health benefits is contrary to the dietary guidelines When these studies become publicized the general public becomes misguided and wary of the previous less revolutionary evidence of the negative effects of alcohol The confusing findings of industry funded studies specifically targets low income uneducated individuals While someone who has taken a college level course in research evaluation could determine whether or not a article is credible the majority of the population cannot With Ellison s study an individual who was not trained in evaluating nutrition research would most likely believe that in order to be healthy they should begin drinking wine This is a problem because not only is wine expensive it is not an effective method of maintaining health In addition the study failed to mention that individuals who drink red wine tend to be wealthier which tend to naturally have better health due to greater access to healthcare health education and produce Studies such as the one mentioned tricks individuals who cannot afford to even buy fresh produce to instead spend their money on alcohol In addition alcohol consumption increases the risk of other diseases such as breast cancer

Therefore not only is the individual spending a large percent of their income on a product with little benefits they are also increases their risk for developing other diseases and therefore increased healthcare costs Industry funded studies also have an impact on policy Recently the Academy of Nutriton and Dietetics came under scrutiny for allowing fast food companies to sponsor their annual food and nutrition conference This is worrisome If the AND is responsible for nutrition education and advocate for nutrition policies If even the AND can be influenced by the industry funding who can the public trust when in relation to health advice 3 People believed the research and it became a recommendation now they see it might not be the case due to industry funding While industry funded research has negative effects on public health the industries themselves cannot receive all of the blame Due to budget cuts in scientific research funding from corporations has become essential for any research to be conducted at all In order to minimize the prevalence of industry funded research the government needs to increase the budget for nutritional research which will reduce researcher s dependence on industries to fund their research and the pressure to produce positive results for the funder


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