In the world of research, the ‘gold standard’ study design is the randomized controlled trial (RCT). The pros and cons of RCTs are well-known, yet details on this study design and how researchers in the field of obesity conduct and report RCTs is not well understood…until now.
Over recent years, I’ve served as an Associate Editor for Pediatric Obesity, an academic journal that publishes research on a range of issues related to preventing and managing obesity in children and youth.
In this role, I learned a lot, gaining perspective on how other researchers plan, conduct, and report their own studies, including RCTs. In doing so, I also saw that some of the manuscripts submitted to the journal were not following our journal’s authorship guidelines or well-established guidelines for reporting RCTs developed by the CONSORT group. What started out as a small project turned into a much larger undertaking, and we ended up digging quite deep into this issue. The end result was a review paper (led by Jill Byrne) that we just published in Obesity. Hopefully, it’ll raise awareness of this issue in our field (in both pediatric and adult obesity) and be useful for others looking to improve on their methodological reporting and research quality.
Congrats Jill, Tamara, Kathleen and Michele!