Active Living Research

Creating and Using Evidence to Support Childhood Obesity Prevention

A teacher leads students in outdoor physical activity at Cleminson Elementary School in El Monte, California.

The research and findings of the Active Living Research (ALR-2) program are continually increasing the evidence base and growing field of research committed to reversing childhood obesity.

The Issue:

Progress associated with second phase of the Active Living Research (ALR-2) program, and its ongoing efforts to combat childhood obesity in high-risk populations, are presented in this paper.

Key Findings:

ALR-2’s successful progress towards its three main goals include the following:

1) Establish a strong evidence base:

From 2001 to 2012, ALR funded 230 competitive grants. Large increases in ALR-2 are noted among studies of youth, low-income, high-risk and ethnic/racial communities in the target populations of those grants.

2) Build a field of interdisciplinary and diverse researchers:

Annual conference attendance has grown from 175 to more than 350 researchers. Additionally, an ALR literature database, seminars and sponsored journal supplements are also effective in reaching multiple disciplines.

3) Informing policy and practice by facilitating the use of research:

Research briefs, webinars, social media, YouTube videos and an ALR website are among many successful tools used to translate research into policy and practice.


ALR-2 is committed to studying the environmental and policy factors with the most relevance to at-risk, youth populations.  The results presented are a testament to the progress of advancing this new field of research and the third phase, ALR-3, is already well under way.