The Healthy Communities Study (HCS), funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and supported by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), aims to answer important research questions about how diet, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI) are related to aspects of community programs and policies.
According to a 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, up to 50 percent of a child’s waking hours are spent in school. Furthermore, much of this time is spent sedentary. In efforts to decrease childhood obesity, research has increasingly focused on physical activity in the school environment. As this body of evidence continues to grow, however, a knowledge gap has formed between research and school design practice.
Rates of childhood obesity are finally beginning to slow, or even decline, in some communities, and this positive development lends urgency and momentum to childhood obesity research efforts.
In recognition of the start of National Childhood Obesity Awareness month on Sept. 1, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is calling on partners, public health and health care professionals, and others engaged with the movement to show their support for childhood obesity research.
NCCOR’s Connect & Explore Webinar takes a closer look at childhood obesity declines, disparities, and opportunities to reconsider the design and impact of policies and interventions
While most of the United States continues to see increasing or steady childhood obesity rates, some areas are seeing modest though important declines. Yet these declines have not been uniform across all groups. The declines are often smaller among groups at the greatest risk, including black and Latino youth and those in low-income communities. The differences in declines among groups can lead to increased racial and ethnic disparities in these communities.
Obesity is a global issue. High rates of childhood obesity around the world are prompting governments, organizations, and communities to take action in unprecedented ways. This includes developing and implementing policy measures, media campaigns, and community-wide diet-related and physical activity initiatives.
In October 2014, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) held a one-day forum—funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)—to convene leading international and interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners to share lessons learned from global efforts to reduce childhood obesity in the United States and worldwide. Using childhood obesity as a case study, forum participants considered emerging areas and cross-cutting goals to achieve RWJF’s mission of a Culture of Health.
The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is excited to attend the 8th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference in San Diego, Calif., held June 29-July 2, 2015. Workshops and plenaries at the conference will cover a wide range of topics including evaluation of population-based efforts, health and the built environment, healthy food marketing, and healthy food incentives.
Through a two-year grant from The JPB Foundation, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) will strengthen its landmark Measures Registry by creating user guides for researchers. With more than 1,000 measures in the Measures Registry, the new guides will help users choose measures best suited for their research and evaluation work.
In 2014, NCCOR made strides in exploring new frontiers in childhood obesity. NCCOR’s recently released Annual Report 2014 explores three emerging and important childhood obesity research topics at the center of these efforts: healthy food incentives; lessons learned from global efforts; and childhood obesity declines.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on March 26 the USDA awarded $9 million in grants to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The grants are funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the flagship competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.
“One-third of the children in the United States are overweight or obese, making this issue one of the greatest health challenges facing our nation,” said Vilsack. “It is critical that we make the effort to help our children be healthy kids and develop into healthy adults,” said Vilsack. Continue reading
Once obesity develops it is likely to persist. Given this understanding, there has been an increasing focus on preventing obesity in infancy and early childhood. Research to develop and implement effective prevention and intervention strategies in the first two years after birth has been limited.
In fall 2013, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases convened a multidisciplinary workshop to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the prevention of infant and early childhood obesity and to identify research gaps and opportunities. A workshop summary was recently published in the March 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. A related funding opportunity announcement was also released.