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Obesity conference ditches Nestlé as sponsor after protests

BMJ 2023; 380 doi: (Published 31 March 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:p737

Linked Opinion

A call to the European Congress on Obesity: It’s time to remove corporate sponsorship

  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. freelance journalist, Kent
  1. jacquiyoung1{at}

The European Congress on Obesity has removed Nestlé as a sponsor, following widespread condemnation on social media.

Now an open letter, published in The BMJ, is calling for the organisation to go further and remove all corporate sponsorship and presence at its scientific events.1

“Nestlé’s sponsorship of a congress on obesity is precisely the same as a tobacco company sponsoring a congress on smoking related disease,” Christoffer van Tulleken, associate professor at University College London and one of the letter’s authors, told The BMJ. “Their business depends on increasing global sales of foods that are associated with obesity. They cannot be part of the solution.”

“Institutions cannot have a financial interest in causing a problem while simultaneously claiming to have an interest in effective solutions; it constitutes a conflict,” said Van Tulleken. “And we know from a huge amount of research across industrial sectors—but specifically from the pharma industry—that when industry becomes involved in research it causes bias, also known as corruption.”

The 2023 European Congress on Obesity (ECO2023), to be …

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