Assessing the youth 'energy gap' to benchmark progress in reversing childhood obesity and inform the Healthy Weight Commitment evaluation

This project will build on previous projects solicited by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to statistically model the average daily "energy gap" (the imbalance between daily caloric intake and expenditure) responsible for the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States, and to identify policy and environmental interventions with the greatest potential to close it by 2015, both population wide and within RWJF's priority high-risk subgroups. The project goals are to assess the youth energy gap to benchmark progress in preventing childhood obesity; to help evaluate the pledge of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) to reduce the caloric content of packaged foods and beverages; and to support consulting by RWJF-funded members of the HWCF Evaluation Advisory Committee. Deliverables will include: (1) an updated, replicable energy-gap model; (2) timely new estimates of current energy gaps by age, race/ethnicity and income to identify progress and disparities; (3) analyses of overall and subgroup-specific changes in diet, physical-activity patterns, energy-gap and weight status from 1970 through 2012, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; and (4) estimates of the likely caloric impact of HWCF's initiative on U.S. youths' energy gap.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $329,990.00

Awarded on: 10/1/2010

Time frame: 11/1/2010 - 4/30/2014

Grant Number: 68162


Columbia University

630 West 168th Street
New York, 10032-3702


Yun-Hsin Claire Wang
Project Director