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We read the recent Editorial “It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet”1 with interest. While discussion about prevention and treatment of obesity is vital, we feel this piece did not make a positive contribution to ongoing scientific debate.
We understand that the Editorial was written to be provocative, but are concerned about the potential damage of misleading and extreme opinions on issues of public health. We believe that there are serious flaws in the interpretation, understanding and reasoning that should not go unchecked.
We highlight four points to demonstrate these flaws, rebut the assertions of the authors, and show why the debate on physical activity (PA) and obesity should disregard the Editorial.
Major flaws in “The Physical Activity Myth” paper
1. Title: “The myth of physical inactivity and obesity”
What myth are the authors referring to? This should be outlined, explaining whether this is authors’ opinion, or can be evidenced in some way. Further, much of the content is unrelated to this title. It is imperative that a title reflects the content of a piece of scientific work whether it is opinion …
Authors' note This Editorial is based on “An open letter: 12 reasons why “The physical activity myth” paper should not have been published” that can be read in full here http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/15/967/reply#bjsports_el_13981
Contributors PK, CM, GB and NM conceived the letter. MM, CF, KM and JR provided critical feedback. All authors helped write the final version.
Competing interests We declare that we have an interest in physical activity research, public health and the maintenance of the highest academic standards. We receive funding from a number of national and international research councils, and companies that manufacture physical activity measurement devices.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.