Since 2003, obesity rates among children in the United States have remained high, creating a new generation at risk for health problems later in life. Although reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity will require multisector solutions, changing the environment, particularly the school environment, is one way to promote change. Schools can potentially reduce the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by offering nutritious meals and regular physical activity. Continue reading
States and organizations are implementing comprehensive nutrition education and obesity prevention programs around the country as one approach to address the rise in childhood obesity. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 stipulates that changes in policies, systems, and environments (PSEs) are to be layered with direct nutrition education and social marketing to enable, promote, and support healthy behaviors among low-income people and their communities. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed), the nutrition education and obesity prevention arm of the SNAP, aims to increase the likelihood that SNAP-Ed eligible households will make healthy diet and physical activity choices within a limited budget.
To establish a mechanism to evaluate program effectiveness and report results to funders, NCCOR, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA), and more than 28 states, contributed and developed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP‐Ed) Evaluation Framework: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Indicators.
Since 2012, NCCOR has sponsored a Youth Energy Expenditure (YEE) workgroup to support research efforts to achieve consensus on methods and measures for establishing youth energy expenditure values. This is important for efforts to reduce childhood obesity because standardized measures to quantify the amount of energy children expend during physical activity have been lacking. These measures are vital for comparing the effects of physical activity interventions and for cost and benefit research.
Until recently, researchers studying children and adolescents have relied on the Adult Compendium of Physical Activities to translate the energy cost of various physical activities into standardized values. However, the energy costs of physical activity change as children grow and mature, making adult values inappropriate for youth.
The health care sector is working toward engaging communities to directly address population health, including childhood obesity prevention. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 stipulates that non-profit hospitals and health systems must engage in activities to improve the health of the communities they serve. Exploring the integration of clinic-community programs is vital for moving childhood obesity prevention efforts forward.
This month, NCCOR is hosting a Connect & Explore webinar on “Evaluating Health Care-Community Collaborations: Community-Based Programs.” The webinar will feature two case studies highlighting strategies used by clinics to engage communities in addressing childhood obesity. Presenters will discuss efforts to assess the reach, effectiveness, adoption, impact, and maintenance of programs at the community level.
While childhood obesity remains a global public health challenge, many communities around the world are showing signs of progress and demonstrating innovation in halting and reversing the childhood obesity epidemic. This March and April, NCCOR is hosting one regular and three special-event Connect & Explore Webinars to examine these promising strategies in the United States and abroad.
The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Behavioral Research Program is preparing to release data from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study and will host a Feb. 5 webinar to explore the study’s data and methods.
NCCOR’s Connect & Explore Webinar examines the latest research findings from the CHOICES project
On Wednesday, Dec. 9, NCCOR’s Connect & Explore Webinar will feature exciting new research on the cost effectiveness and impact of interventions to reduce childhood obesity. Steven Gortmaker, PhD, director of the Harvard Prevention Research Center, will explore the latest findings from the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) project, a collaborative modeling effort designed to evaluate the effectiveness, costs, and reach of interventions to reduce childhood obesity in the United States. Dr. Gortmaker is the lead investigator of the CHOICES project.
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.
NCCOR webinar reveals insights from Department of Ag’s FoodAPS data, as well as new research opportunities made possible by the first-of-its-kind survey
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) is the first-ever nationally representative and comprehensive survey of American households’ food purchases and acquisitions. This robust and first-of-its-kind dataset enables scientists to conduct research studies that support the design and implementation of policies and regulations affecting America’s food and nutrition assistance programs.
The survey includes nationally representative data from nearly 5,000 households, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, low-income households not participating in SNAP, and higher-income households. Continue reading
NCCOR’s Connect & Explore Webinar on Feb. 23 provided the first public forum to connect with authors from the recently released Lancet Series on Obesity.
The series discusses reasons for scarce progress; reviews regulatory, non-regulatory, and quasi-regulatory actions; identifies high-priority actions; challenges entrenched dichotomies; and proposes a reframing of obesity. Each paper in the six-part series challenges the current, rather simplistic “either or” obesity solutions; generates new perspectives; and highlights examples to spur policy makers to take action. Continue reading