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December 19, 1977

Treatment of Obesity

JAMA. 1977;238(25):2696. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280260026005

To the Editor.—  The recent report by Currey et al (237:2829-2831, 1977) on the behavioral treatment of obesity has several shortcomings of which the reader should be aware when making any judgments about it. First, the selection of the three articles presented in tabular form are hardly representative of the nearly 100 research reports published to date. Those presented represent neither the best nor the worst results obtained, nor are the sample sizes particularly representative. The types of treatments used in the three are so different that comparisons are not meaningful.While the selection of papers for review is the prerogative of the author, serious inaccuracies in the discussion of them are unacceptable. When totaling the eight papers reviewed by Stunkard and McLaren-Hume,1 they apparently omitted completely the data from one of the studies,2 which reflected some of the best results. The results of Penick et al3