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Epidemiology and Population Health

Measurement rigor is not a substitute for design rigor in causal inference: increased physical activity does cause (modest) weight loss

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DBA conceived of the work that led to the submission, and all authors played an important role in interpreting the results. All authors drafted or revised the paper, approved of the final version, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

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Correspondence to David B. Allison.

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Competing interests

In the last 36 months, Dr. DBA has received personal payments or promises for same from: Alkermes, Inc.; Amin Talati Wasserman for KSF Acquisition Corp (Glanbia); Big Sky Health; Kaleido Biosciences; Law Offices of Ronald Marron; Medpace/Gelesis; NAS/NASEM; and Novo Nordisk Fonden. Donations to a foundation have been made on his behalf by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association. Dr DBA’s institution, Indiana University, and the Indiana University Foundation have received funds or donations to support his research or educational activities from: Alliance for Potato Research and Education; American Egg Board; Arnold Ventures; Eli Lilly and Company; Haas Avocado Board; Mars, Inc.; National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; USDA; NAS/NASEM; Soleno Therapeutics; WW (formerly Weight Watchers); and numerous other for-profit and non-profit organizations to support the work of the School of Public Health and the university more broadly. Neither Drs DMB or JLL have any competing financial interests, or other conflict, related to this commentary.

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Allison, D.B., Bier, D.M. & Locher, J.L. Measurement rigor is not a substitute for design rigor in causal inference: increased physical activity does cause (modest) weight loss. Int J Obes 47, 3–4 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-022-01234-9

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