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.
How is nutrition policy being implemented across the United States? How can policies work together over time to improve the diet and health of Americans? From New York City to Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, a recent special collection published in Preventing Chronic Disease examines nutrition policies across the United States from a variety of policy levels, types, and settings. Studies in the series, many of which were authored by National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) members and contributors, use diverse methodologies to explore policy development, adoption, implementation, and transferability while tackling best practices in policy translation, communication, and dissemination. Continue reading
NCCOR’s Connect & Explore Webinar examines soon-to-be published research advocating a shift in the framework to prevent and treat obesity and related chronic diseases
Infographics can be a powerful way to share your data and research. According to this Harvard Business Review article, “A great infographic is an instant revelation. It can compress time and space. … It can illuminate patterns in massive amounts of data. … It can make the abstract convincingly concrete.”
Physical activity plays an important role in the fight against childhood obesity. Developing, testing, and evaluating individual and environmental interventions and policies designed to increase youth physical activity would be enhanced if there were a comparable metric for physical activity applicable to youth. Several approaches have been used to express energy expenditure in youth, but no consensus exists as to which best normalizes data for the wide range of ages and body sizes across a range of physical activities.
With up to 50 percent of students’ daily energy intake occurring in the school building, schools are often the focus of targeted efforts to combat childhood obesity. Recent evidence has shown that although school-based nutrition education programs may contribute to healthier eating habits, these programs are not consistently effective on their own.
In response, an exciting area of research is emerging with a focus on the physical design of school building features, such as cafeterias, teaching gardens, or access to drinking water, and the impact it can have on healthy eating behaviors and attitudes. As this body of research expands, however, little work has been done to quantify, categorize, and analyze it.
Nearly 70 percent of obesity researchers reported using social media for professional purposes in 2014 compared to 42 percent in 2012, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR). The most common types of social media included LinkedIn (61 percent), Research Gate (51 percent), Facebook (28 percent), and Twitter (24 percent). Groups like the London School of Economics Public Policy Group encourage researchers to weave social media into dissemination efforts of their findings.
These are some of the reasons why researchers are using social media.
Public policy can play a major role in impacting childhood obesity, yet little is known about the role of nutrition and obesity policy research in informing public policy decisions.
A supplement published in the April issue of Preventing Chronic Disease includes an essay and three articles examining the role of nutrition and obesity policy research and evaluation. The supplement was organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN).
Periodically, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) will share examples of how members’ research is being applied for a variety of impacts. Today, our focus is on several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiatives at the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Here are three brief examples.
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.