Earlier this year I noticed the National Strength and Conditioning Association was misrepresenting PepsiCo employee Jon-Kyle Davis as a university professor. So, on April 18, 2018, I sent the following letter to the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
The NSCA did not respond. To this day, the NSCA still falsely reports that Davis is employed by the University of Montevallo. In fact, Davis left academic life five years ago to work full time for PepsiCo. Moreover, his PepsiCo/Gatorade employment constitutes a major conflict of interest given his publication on hydration. Yet a reader would never know about Davis’ PepsiCo conflict from reading his NSCA paper.
We hope that PepsiCo’s funding of the NSCA as an “official partner” has nothing to do with the NSCA knowingly disguising a PepsiCo employee as an academic.
I am writing regarding PepsiCo employee Jon-Kyle Davis. Davis has published two articles in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR).
According to his LinkedIn profile, Davis served as an assistant employee in the former Department of Kinesiology at the University of Montevallo (Exhibit A). His professorship at this university ended, however, in December 2013, at which point he became an employee of the PepsiCo soft drink company. His PepsiCo profile confirms that he taught at the University of Montevallo prior to beginning employment at that corporation (Exhibit B).
In September 2015, the NSCA published Davis and his co-authors’ article, “Influence of Dehydration on Intermittent Sprint Performance” in the JSCR. This article falsely states that Davis’ affiliation is with the University of Montevallo, not PepsiCo (Exhibit C). And this, despite the fact that Davis had left the university nearly two years prior, and even though he listed his contact information as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then in December 2017, Davis and co-authors published “Influence of Clothing on Thermoregulation and Comfort During Exercise in the Heat” in the JSCR. This article was published four years subsequent to Davis leaving the University of Montevallo. Yet it still falsely identified Davis with that academic institution and failed to mention his PepsiCo employment. (Exhibit D)
The affiliation sections of these articles should be corrected to identify Davis as a PepsiCo employee, not a university academic. And the “Influence of Dehydration” paper, at a minimum, should list Davis’ PepsiCo employment as a competing interest since PepsiCo owns Gatorade, a product whose marketing has alleged that dehydration is detrimental to performance and has promoted hyperhydration as a means to improve performance.
Russ Greene Director of Government Relations and Research CrossFit, Inc.