Dr James Betts, Senior Lecturer in the University’s Department for Health has disputed BBC Panorama and the associated British Medical Journal (BMJ) series regarding sports products research.
The Panorama episode “The Truth about Sports Products” claimed that evidence underpinning all sports products is weak and that widespread belief in these products is fuelled by industry corruption of academics and scientists.
This view was supported by a recent series of articles published in the BMJ that evaluated some of the evidence used to support claims about the products.
However, both the relevant BBC Panorama programme and the associated BMJ series have received widespread criticism from academics working in this field, both objecting to any question of their scientific integrity and defending the quality of science available on this topic.
One of the overriding themes in the letters received by the BMJ and published online was that the series of articles published, provided an unbalanced account, with no attempt made to seek and represent any perspective other than the negative viewpoints conveyed in their programme.