As I was scrolling through my email updates from Med Page Today, I couldn’t resist clicking on and reading an article titled: “Obesity, is the vacuum cleaner to blame?” I have to admit, my interest was piqued. At first I though, how dirty would someones house have to be for them to get a full work out cleaning it? When I read into it further, the article did have some valid points…and a significant P statistic to top it off.
The study included 55,000 women and it compared their energy output in calories from house work from 1965 to present. They suggested the new technology that cleans the house for you (ex: robotic vacuums) is allowing women to have more free time after work to relax. They stated that there is a correlation between added screen time and a rise in obesity. They also mentioned how now that more women are employed that they have less time for housework and are more exhausted after work and therefore spend more time on the couch than on their feet.
As I was reading I couldn’t help but wonder why they failed to mention the change in diets, how food is eaten (fast food; eating on the go) and the addivitves in food that did not play such a factor back in the 60’s Ie; GMO, HFCS, Gluten…the list goes on.
As I read to the bottom of the article it finished with “This study was funded by Coca Cola” and it all made sense. I started to wonder if it was appropriate for companies involved directly in the area of focus in a study to contribute to its funding. I know funding is a hard thing to come by, but is it possible that the results are skewed in a way to make the company look better? What are the disadvantages to having a possibly biased study, if any?
What are peoples thoughts?