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Title: Drawing conclusions from within-group comparisons and selected subsets of data leads to unsubstantiated conclusions: Letter regarding Malakellis et al.

Author
item MCCOMB, BRYAN - NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
item FRAZIER-WOOD, ALEXIS - CHILDREN'S NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER (CNRC)
item DAWSON, JOHN - TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
item ALLISON, DAVID - INDIANA UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2017
Publication Date: 12/27/2017
Citation: McComb, B., Frazier-Wood, A.C., Dawson, J., Allison, D.B. 2017. Drawing conclusions from within-group comparisons and selected subsets of data leads to unsubstantiated conclusions: Letter regarding Malakellis et al. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12755.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Malakellis et al. conducted an ambitious quasi-experimental evaluation of "multiple initiatives at [the] individual, community, and school policy level to support healthier nutrition and physical activity" among children. In the abstract they concluded, "There was some evidence of effectiveness of the systems approach to preventing obesity among adolescents" and cited implications for public health as follows: "These findings demonstrate that the use of systems methods can be effective on a small scale." Given the importance of reducing childhood obesity, news of an effective program is welcome. Unfortunately, the data and analyses do not support the conclusions. Considering the importance of providing both the scientific community and the public with accurate information to support policy decisions and future research, erroneous conclusions reported in the literature should be corrected. The stated conclusions of the article in question were not substantiated by the data and should be corrected.