A new National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) was launched today to accelerate progress on reversing the epidemic of overweight and obesity among U.S. youth. The initiative brings together the expertise and resources of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), three of the country’s leading research funders.
Through the collective efforts of these organizations, NCCOR will aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of research on childhood obesity. It will evaluate new and existing prevention approaches, rapidly assess promising policy changes and speed the application of interventions that work.
James S. Marks, M.D., M.P.H, senior vice president and director of RWJF’s Health Group, said NCCOR will help ensure that research findings are communicated consistently to policy-makers and the public and enhance the effectiveness of community outreach. “We’re going to build on our organizations’ complementary strengths,” Marks noted. “In five years, we hope to be able to say that NCCOR played a key role in reversing childhood obesity rates.”
NCCOR will focus on efforts that have great potential to benefit children, teens and their families and the communities in which they live. It will put a special emphasis on the populations in which obesity rates are highest, including African-American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children living in low-income communities.
“Today, 12 million children and adolescents in the United States are obese and another 11 million are overweight,” said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “We believe that more coordinated research will be able to have major impact in solving this critical health issue.”
The collaborative has an ambitious multiyear agenda that begins this month with a four-part webinar series on policy evaluation. In 2009, NCCOR will begin to undertake:
“Childhood obesity increases the risk of many chronic diseases and other problems,” said NIH Acting Director Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “By working together on key research challenges, and translating research into action at the individual, family, and community levels, we can accelerate progress in reversing this public health challenge.”
The webinar series, to be launched on February 27, is designed to further enhance the skills of researchers in evaluating state and local policies aimed at reducing the prevalence of obesity. The sessions will address:
Please visit www.nccor.org for more information about the webinar series, a full list of NCCOR-led projects, upcoming events and childhood obesity research highlights.