Document Detail

Use of causal language in observational studies of obesity and nutrition.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21196788     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To assess the inappropriate use of causal language in studies on obesity and nutrition.
METHODS: Titles and abstracts of 525 peer-reviewed papers in the 4 leading journals in the fields of obesity and nutrition were scrutinized for language implying causality in observational studies published in 2006.
RESULTS: Such misleading language appeared in 161 papers (31%) independent of funding source. Remarkably 49% of studies lacking statistically significant primary outcomes used misleading language compared to 29% of those with p values ≤0.05 (chi square p < 0.001). Exculpatory language was present in the body of the text in 19%; of the 161 studies.
CONCLUSION: We suggest that editors and reviewers evaluate submissions for misleading reporting.
Stacey S Cofield; Rachel V Corona; David B Allison
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2010-12-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Obesity facts     Volume:  3     ISSN:  1662-4025     ISO Abbreviation:  Obes Facts     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-01-03     Completed Date:  2011-02-25     Revised Date:  2013-07-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101469429     Medline TA:  Obes Facts     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  353-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Bias (Epidemiology)
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Epidemiologic Studies*
Nutritional Sciences* / statistics & numerical data
Obesity / epidemiology*
Periodicals as Topic* / statistics & numerical data
Reproducibility of Results
Research Support as Topic
Risk Assessment
Risk Factors
Terminology as Topic*
Grant Support

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