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NCCOR supported AJPH issue highlights systems science applications in obesity research

July 8, 2014, NCCOR

Substantial efforts by the public health community have focused on addressing the obesity epidemic, but in order to implement effective solutions, a greater understanding of the complexities associated with obesity is needed. A section of the July 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, now available in print as well as online, showcases cutting edge research in this area. This theme issue is supported by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research’s (NCCOR) Envision project and highlights contributions to the field from many Envision members.

“This theme issue highlights some of the work that is being done in obesity research using systems science approaches,” Dr. Regina Bures said of the special segment, titled Using Systems Science in Obesity Research. Bures is program officer in the Center for Population Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is a co-leader of Envision. Bures served as a guest editor for the AJPH theme issue.

Systems science refers to a family of methods, comprised mostly of computation and mathematical modeling techniques and network analysis,” said Dr. Patricia Mabry, senior advisor for prevention research at the Office of Disease Prevention at NIH and the issue’s other guest editor. Mabry also co-leads the Envision project.

Twelve articles make up the section, including the Editor’s Choice titled “Systems Science: A Tool for Understanding Obesity,” authored by Drs. Bures and Mabry, as well as NCCOR’s C. Tracy Orleans, Ph.D., of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Layla Esposito, Ph.D. of NICHD/NIH.

Envision (nccor.org/envision) is a network of obesity modeling teams. The project supports statistical modeling efforts to forecast the impact of public health policies and interventions on childhood obesity.

Learn more about the collection of articles here.