+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Use of causal language in observational studies of obesity and nutrition



Use of causal language in observational studies of obesity and nutrition



Obesity Facts 3(6): 353-356



To assess the inappropriate use of causal language in studies on obesity and nutrition. 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. 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. We suggest that editors and reviewers evaluate submissions for misleading reporting.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 056795394

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21196788

DOI: 10.1159/000322940


Related references

Evaluating causal relationships between urban built environment characteristics and obesity: a methodological review of observational studies. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 11: 142, 2014

Chrono-nutrition: a review of current evidence from observational studies on global trends in time-of-day of energy intake and its association with obesity. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 75(4): 487-500, 2016

Utility of obesity indicators for metabolically healthy obesity: an observational study using the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2009-2010). Bmc Public Health 14: 1166, 2015

Causal Inference in Observational Studies in Surgery. Annals of Surgery 262(1): E32, 2015

The estimation of causal effect in observational studies. Przeglad Lekarski 72(10): 572-577, 2015

Probability versus causal inference in observational studies. Blood Purification 37(3): 221, 2014

Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation for Causal Inference in Observational Studies. American Journal of Epidemiology 185(1): 65-73, 2017

Designing Observational Biologging Studies to Assess the Causal Effect of Instrumentation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4(9): 802-810, 2013

Concordance with known causal effects is a potential validity measure for observational studies. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 74: 4-6, 2016

Mendelian randomization: use of genetics to enable causal inference in observational studies. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 25(5): 1394-1398, 2010

Rubins model and its application to causal inference in experiments and observational studies. American Journal of Epidemiology 132(4): 825-826, 1990

A proxy outcome approach for causal effect in observational studies: a simulation study. Biomed Research International 2014: 872435, 2014

Causal assessment of smoking and tooth loss: a systematic review of observational studies. Bmc Public Health 11: 221, 2011

Causal thinking and causal language in health care: introduction to the theme. Medicine Health Care and Philosophy 9(3): 269-271, 2006

Causal thinking and causal language in epidemiology: a cause by any other name is still a cause: response to Lipton and Ødegaard. Epidemiologic Perspectives and Innovations 3: 7, 2006