Did 24 Coke-Funded Studies on Childhood Obesity Fail to Disclose Coke’s Influence?

By Gary Ruskin

How accurate were conflict of interest disclosures in at least 40 childhood obesity studies funded by The Coca-Cola Company? Not so accurate, according to a paper published in the Journal of Public Health Policy that analyzed studies from the International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment (ISCOLE), funded with a $6.4 million grant from Coca-Cola.

The ISCOLE study found that physical inactivity is a key predictor for childhood obesity.  Coca-Cola appears to have financed and promoted research tying childhood obesity to causes other than soda consumption.

For 24 of the ISCOLE studies, the COI disclosures report this, or a close variant: “ISCOLE is funded by The Coca-Cola Company. The study sponsor has no role in study design, data collection, analysis, conclusions or publications. The only sponsor requirement was that the study be global in nature.”

However, a Freedom of Information Act request by U.S. Right to


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