Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Greater reliance on stronger observational study designs when true RCTs are not an option

With some notable exceptions, the space in between OATs and pure RCEs is seen, at least in obesity research, as a void. Such a constrained view inappropriately lumps together valid evidence from strong, non-randomized designs with evidence from weak designs that permit little causal inference. There are additional methods occupying that intermediary space of strength of causal inference. If we can encourage the use of these methods which offer stronger causal inferences as a supplement to the more common work in RCEs and in place of OATs, we will be better able to make reasonable inferences about causal factors and enhance progress in obesity science, intervention, prevention, and policy.

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Idea No. 1096