Healthy Eating Research

A Progress Report

Dates of Work: 2007 to 2015

Field of Work: Reducing childhood obesity through improved nutrition

"Healthy Eating Research legitimized this field of research and is responsible, in part, for driving demand for this type of research at the national level."—Seth Emont, Program Evaluator

Problem Synopsis: Nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are either overweight or obese, and children of color are at highest risk. Attention has turned to policy and environmental factors that affect childhood obesity, and strategies for promoting policies and environments that promote healthy lifestyles.

Synopsis of the Work: Healthy Eating Research makes grants to individual researchers for studies about real-world problems, supports issue-based working groups, and leads communications and advocacy efforts to make information useful to policy-makers.

Key Findings/Results

  • Healthy Eating Research has made 109 grants totaling $17.5 million. An external evaluation concluded "Healthy Eating Research has legitimized this field of research and is responsible, in part, for driving demand for this type of research at the national level."

    Through working groups and other activities, these researchers are creating a rich evidence base, measurement tools, and instruments that are increasingly used by schools, day-care centers, and others in determining policies.

“They have defined the most important questions and leveraged their money to multiply their influence in creating the science.”—Kelly Brownell, director, the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Research, Yale University