The study, which claimed official guidance to cut sugar was based on “low-quality evidence”, stated it had been funded by an ILSI technical committee. Only by searching elsewhere for a list of committee members did it become clear that this comprised 15 food firms, including Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola and Tate & Lyle.
In 2013, Kellogg’s funded British research that concluded “regular consumption of breakfast cereals” might help children stay slimmer.
The study, published in the journal Obesity Facts, relied on evidence from 14 studies. Seven were funded by Kellogg’s and five were funded by the cereal company General Mills. Margaret Ashwell, a consultant to the food industry and one of the authors of the study, said all interests had been correctly disclosed.
Terence Kealey, a former vice-chancellor at Buckingham University and author of Breakfast Is a Dangerous Meal, warned last month that the scientific community had “fooled itself” about the benefits of breakfast.
Kellogg has said it was committed to “slowly reducing sugar”. A spokesperson said: “As a low-calorie, grain-based food choice we believe cereals have a role to play in tackling obesity. We follow appropriate guidelines for transparency and disclosure.”