Authors' financial relationships with the food and beverage industry and their published positions on the fat substitute olestra

Am J Public Health. 2003 Apr;93(4):664-9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.4.664.


Objectives: This study examined the association between authors' published positions on the safety and efficacy in assisting with weight loss of the Procter & Gamble (P&G) fat substitute olestra and their financial relationships with the food and beverage industry.

Methods: Journal articles about olestra, and their authors, were classified as supportive, critical, or neutral with respect to its use. Authors not known to have industry affiliations were surveyed about their financial relationships.

Results: Supportive authors were significantly more likely than critical or neutral authors to have financial relationships with P&G (80% vs 11% and 21%, respectively; P <.0001). All authors disclosing an affiliation with P&G were supportive.

Conclusions: Because authors' published opinions were associated with their financial relationships, obtaining noncommercial funding may be more essential to maintaining objectivity than disclosing personal financial interests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Conflict of Interest*
  • Disclosure
  • Fat Substitutes / adverse effects*
  • Fat Substitutes / classification
  • Fatty Acids / adverse effects*
  • Fatty Acids / classification
  • Financial Support / ethics*
  • Food Industry / economics*
  • Humans
  • Marketing
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Risk Assessment / ethics
  • Scientific Misconduct*
  • Sucrose / adverse effects*
  • Sucrose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sucrose / classification
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Fat Substitutes
  • Fatty Acids
  • Sucrose
  • sucrose polyester