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  • Researcher who found no evidence of weight loss with dairy threatened with audit of her work


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    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:32 pm Email this article
    When Jean Harvey-Berino, chairwoman of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont, did a study paid for by Dairy Management, a marketing creation of the United States Department of Agriculture which was created to help to sell more dairy, milk and cheese, but found "a high-dairy calcium diet does not substantially improve weight loss beyond what can be achieved in a behavioral intervention", Dairy Management took the news poorly, threatening to audit her work according to an article in the New York Times. Weight Loss Campaign Continued

    Dairy weight loss campaign continued even after research showed it did not work

    “I thought they were crazy [when Dairy Management pressed on with its ad campaign that dairy can cause weight loss], and that eventually somebody would catch up with them,” she was quoted as saying in the article.

    She “heard from other researchers who also failed to confirm Dr. Zemel’s work [that dairy causes weight loss], including Dr. Jack A. Yanovski, an obesity unit chief at the National Institutes of Health,” the article notes.

    “But in late 2006, Dairy Management was still citing the weight-loss claim in urging the Agriculture Department not to cut the amount of cheese in federal food assistance programs.”

    “The available data provide strong support for a beneficial effect of increased dairy foods on body weight and body composition,” two organization officials wrote, making no mention of Dr. Harvey-Berino’s findings the article notes.

    REFERENCE

    Moss M. While warning about fat, U.S. Pushes cheese sales. New York Times. 2010 Nov 6, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/07fat.html?_r=2&src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB

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