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Table 3 Mechanisms used by the sample of food industry actors to shape the evidence base on diet- and public health- related issues in Australia

From: Systematic examination of publicly-available information reveals the diverse and extensive corporate political activity of the food industry in Australia

  Australian Food and Grocery Council Coca Cola McDonald’s Nestle Woolworths
Mechanisms Examples identified during data collection
Fund research, including through academics, ghost writers, own research institutions and front groups Promotion (industry website, Twitter, etc.) of research from a front group: “This review was commissioned and paid for by the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.” (A40) Not identified Not identified “[The] Nestle Research Center (NRC) (…) 250 scientists publish some 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications each year across areas including nutrition and health, public nutrition and food consumer interaction.”(A257) Not identified
Pay scientists as advisers, consultants or spokespersons Not identified “Coca-Cola Australia has an advisory council of experts in the area of obesity, public health and nutrition, who provide advice and counsel to the Company” (A139) Not identified Not identified Not identified
Cite research that has been funded (directly or indirectly, through third parties) by the industry AFGC submission to the draft Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australian Guide to Healthy Eating: references research funded by the food industry (or with authors that have declared interests with the food industry): Dairy Australia, Australian Beverages Council, Coca Cola, Meat and Livestock Australia. (A39) “While they contribute minimal kilojoules to the diet, people question the role of diet soft drinks when managing their weight. […] A new study funded by the American Beverage Association and published in the journal Obesity may just have provided evidence to suggest otherwise.” (A134) Not identified “[A] recent study carried out by Zurich’s ETH University and Nestle (…) showed that serving school-age children a greater variety of vegetables increased the quantity they chose to consume.” (A257) Not identified
Disseminate and use non-peer reviewed or unpublished evidence Not identified 'Infographics on sweeteners on industry websites contain evidence that has not been peer reviewed (e.g., Calorie Control Council) (A135) Not identified Nestle Australia Response to Australian Dietary Guidelines - Incorporating the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating - Draft for Public Consultation (2012) includes information drawn from a poster presentation (A215, A268) Not identified
Participate in and host scientific events Dietitians Association of Australia 31st National Conference - Sponsored Breakfast Seminars: Healthier Australia Commitment (A38) 2014 Nutrition Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting - session sponsored by Coca Cola - “Do small changes make a big difference? Insights into weight loss maintenance research.” – Presented by: Professor James Hill, Denver University, USA (A133) Dietitians Association of Australia 31st National Conference - Exhibitors: McDonald’s Australia Dietitians Association of Australia 31st National Conference - Sponsored Breakfast Seminars: Nestle Corporate: “Unlocking the facts on kid’s snack habits” (A217) Not identified
Provide industry-sponsored education materials “Details of planned activities for the Dietary Guidelines Work Program - Communication and Implementation Plan 2012: AFGC (…) indicated that they will have some of their own educations initiatives developed by May 2012” (A49) Not identified McDonald’s junior development basketball programs in partnership with Basketball Victoria: School resources - lessons plan (A175) Nestle Healthy Active Kids “with resources for teachers […]. As part of the program [Nestle] distributed 80,000 Kids Nutrition Plates, 50,000 Healthy Active Kids booklets and as a result was able to reach 5,000 teachers and 250,000 school children.” (A224) Not identified