Most Infant Formula Trials Lack Transparency
Baby formula trials are not reliable and have an "almost universal lack of transparency" which could undermine breastfeeding, according to the results of a systematic review published in BMJ. The findings underscore the need for significant change in the way such trials are conducted and reported, concluded lead author Bartosz Helfer, PhD, of the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London and the University of Wroclaw (Poland) Institute of Psychology and his coauthors. Citing a high risk of bias, selective reporting, and "almost universally favourable conclusions," the international team of investigators suggested "some trials might have a marketing aim and no robust scientific aim," concluding "much of the recent information generated about formula products might be misleading."
@abhiraj Using the Cochrane risk-of-bias assessment 2.0 (ROB2), the analysis found that risk of bias was high in 80% of trials "usually because of inappropriate exclusions of participants from the analysis, and selective reporting," the investigators noted. "This lack of transparency was complemented by favourable conclusions in more than 90% of recent trials, and evidence of publication bias in recent superiority trials."