Monday, February 1, 2016

Chocolate Milk-Gate & How Not to Roll Out a Think Tank Study

For those thinks tanks who are about to release an important study this year, we only have one piece of advice for you: Do not follow in the footsteps of the University of Maryland.  Here is more from the Washington Post:

The bulletin atop a University of Maryland news release was provocative: “Concussion-related measures improved in high school football players who drank new chocolate milk, U-Md. study shows.”
But an update posted below that finding in late December added a backpedaling caveat rarely seen from a major research university: “This press release refers to study results that are preliminary and have not been subjected to the peer review scientific process.”
The December news release touting a beverage called Fifth Quarter Fresh has become a significant embarrassment in College Park as officials scramble to learn how and why it was published prematurely. The beverage is produced by a small western Maryland company that helped fund the study, through a program based at U-Md. that connects businesses with universities for product-development research.

Universities and think tanks receive corporate funding all the time (including money for corporate-sponsored research), but chocolate milk being good for concussions?  Really?!