As many of us try to get fitter in this Olympic summer, Panorama investigates the sports products that promise to boost your performance.
Are those pricey trainers worth the money? Can sports drinks really help you work out for longer? Are protein shakes any more effective at honing the physique than ordinary food? With exclusive access to the findings from a unique study by the British Medical Journal and Oxford University Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, reporter Shelley Jofre tests the science behind the bold advertising claims made by some of sport’s biggest brands.
The work undertaken by CEBM was aired on Panorama in July 2012, viewed by over 4 million people; it was picked up by international news agencies based on work that raised awareness of the lack of evidence underpinning many sports products available to consumers.
- The evidence underpinning sports performance products: a systematic assessment. Heneghan C, Howick J, O’Neill B, Gill PJ, Lasserson DS, Cohen D, Davis R, Ward A, Smith A, Jones G, Thompson M. BMJ Open. 2012 Jul 18;2(4). pii: e001702.
- Mythbusting sports and exercise products. Heneghan C, Gill P, O’Neill B, Lasserson D, Thake M, Thompson M. BMJ. 2012 Jul 18;345:e4848. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e4848.
- Forty years of sports performance research and little insight gained. Heneghan C, Perera R, Nunan D, Mahtani K, Gill P. BMJ. 2012 Jul 18;345:e4797. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e4797.
- How valid is the European Food Safety Authority’s assessment of sports drinks? Thompson M, Heneghan C, Cohen D. BMJ. 2012 Jul 18;345:e4753. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e4753.
BBC News – ‘Lack of evidence’ that popular sports products work,
19 Jul 2012 – Consumers could be wasting their money on sports drinks, protein
TV review: Panorama: the Truth About Sports Products – The Guardian
19 Jul 2012 – Panorama: the Truth About Sports Products (BBC1).