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Regarding a recently published meta-analysis on acupuncture for obesity
  1. Sholto David
  1. Correspondence to Sholto David, Cowley, UK; sholto.david{at}

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The Postgraduate Medical Journal recently published a paper online entitled ‘Acupuncture vs sham acupuncture for simple obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis’.1 The authors correctly emphasised the growing threat of obesity to global health, and the importance of evaluating the efficacy of proposed treatments. Because of their laudable research goals I read this paper with great interest, however, I was disappointed to discover serious methodological mistakes.

The most egregious error is that neither the title nor abstract accurately describe the contents of the article in question. The meta-analyses are described as comparing acupuncture with sham (or placebo) acupuncture, however, two of the eight trials included in the quantitative synthesis compared acupuncture to a ‘no treatment’ control group.2 3 …

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  • Contributors SD wrote the letter by himself in his own time. No one funded him, no one helped him and he has no conflicts of interest.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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