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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 …
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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