Resources from Members
The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is a unique partnership designed to leverage each member’s strength and accelerate progress in the field. Below are resources provided by funders of the Collaborative and classified by NCCOR’s five goal areas.
Goal 1: Identify, design, and evaluate practical and sustainable interventions, especially in high-risk populations and communities.
- The African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (ACCORN)
This collaboration of U.S. researchers, scholars-in-training, and community-based research partners is dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of research to address weight-related health issues in African-American communities.
- Communities Creating Healthy Environments: Improving Access to Healthy Foods and Safe Places to Play in Communities of Color
This program seeks to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity by supporting community organizing and policy change that will create healthy environments where kids live, learn, and play.
- Healthy Eating by Design
This program aims to increase access to healthy foods for children in low-income communities and schools. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) selected 12 Active Living by Design community partnerships to test approaches for providing affordable, healthy, and appealing food options in low-income communities.
- Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities
This national program is helping 50 community partnerships across the country in reshaping their healthy eating and active living policy- and environmental-change initiatives to support healthy living and prevent childhood obesity.
Goal 2: Increase and improve national, state, and local surveillance of childhood obesity.
- Bridging the Gap
The goal of Briding the Gap, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, is to improve the understanding of how policies and environmental factors affect diet, physical activity, and obesity among youth, as well as youth tobacco use. The website offers a range of research materials and products that examine the environmetal impact on nutrition and physical activity. These resources include research briefs, reports, presentations, datasets, and survey tools.
- Data Hub
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Data Hub tracks state-level data and allows users to customize and visualize facts and figures on key health and health care topics. It aims to provide timely, accessible information and evidence to inform policies and practices that help Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need. It establishes a system of priority measures for monitoring state-level progress toward improving the nation’s health and health care.
- Dietary Data Briefs
Products of the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, these short reports summarize key results from What We Eat in America, NHANES. Dietary Data Briefs on the website at this time include the following: dietary intakes of choline, sodium intake of the U.S. population, drinking water intake in the U.S., beverage choices of U.S. adults, MyPyramid intakes and snacking patterns of U.S. adults, snacking patterns of U.S. adults, fluid milk consumption in the United States, snacking patterns of U.S. adolescents, and breakfast in America.
- Food Access Research Atlas
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Access Research Atlas is an online mapping tool that uses 2010 Census data to identify food desserts using these three measures: ½-mile and 1-mile demarcations to the nearest supermarket for urban areas; 10-mile and 20-mile demarcations to the nearest supermarket for rural areas, as well as estimated vehicle availability. Users of the Atlas can view census tracts by food access indicators using these different measures to see how the map changes as the distance demarcation or inclusion of vehicle access changes.
- Health Indicator Sortable Stats
Sortable Stats is an interactive data set comprised of behavioral risk factors and health indicators. This data set compiles state level data for the 50 states, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories from various published Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and federal sources into a format that allows users to view, sort, and analyze data at state, regional, and national levels. This tool is intended to serve as a resource in the promotion of policy, system, and environmental changes. The data set is updated as new data becomes available annually. The “About the Data” link provides access to other CDC resources including reports (e.g., CDC’s Vital Sign Report, MMWR), and data systems (e.g., NCHS Vital Statistics, the Health Indicator Warehouse, BRFSS). Where available, links are also included for sources that may contain related city- or county-level data.
- Measurement of the Food & Physical Activity Environments: Enhancing Research Relevant to Policy on Diet, Activity & Weight
Researchers use a variety of methods to measure food and physical activity environments, including survey instruments (self-reported and observed) and methodologies such as geographic information systems. To further stimulate progress in this research area, this supplement highlights the need for better reporting of validity and reliability of measures; tailoring or validation of measures for communities at high risk for obesity; and refinement of conceptual models.
- Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS)/Pregnancy Surveillance System (PNSS)
These are program-based surveillance systems that monitor the nutritional status of infants, children, and women from low-income families and in federally funded maternal and child health programs. PedNSS data represent nearly 9 million children from birth to age 5 years. PNSS data also represent approximately 1.3 million pregnant and postpartum women.
- U.S. Food Environment Atlas
Food environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—interact to influence food choices and diet quality. Research is beginning to document the complexity of these interactions, but more is needed to identify causal relationships and effective policy interventions. The objectives of the Atlas are to assemble statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality, and to provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so.
- Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
This system includes national, state, territorial, and local school-based surveys of representative samples of high school students conducted every two years. The national survey provides data representative of ninth through 12th grade students in public and private schools in the United States. The state, territorial, and local surveys provide data representative of students in public high schools in each jurisdiction.
- 500 Cities Project Data and Map Books
The 500 Cities Project is a partnership between the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Division of Population Health, the CDC Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The project is a first-of-its-kind data analysis of 27 chronic disease measures for the 500 largest American cities, and the census tracts within. The project bolsters the availability of health data for small areas within cities, and will aid in the development and implementation of effective and targeted public health prevention efforts. In the spring of 2017, these data will also be made available through a public, interactive website that will allow users to view and explore uniform city and tract-level data.
Goal 3: Improve the ability of childhood obesity researchers and program evaluators to conduct research and program evaluation.
- Dietary Assessment Primer
This resource from the National Cancer Institute is designed to help researchers select the best dietary assessment approach to address different research questions. The tool describes the major types of instruments that rely on individuals reporting their own diets and compares key features of the main self-report dietary assessment instruments. This web-based resource also explains and provides guidance regarding validity, measurement error, and calibration in the context of dietary assessment.
- Obesity Research
This resource presents information about NIH-supported research to facilitate progress toward obesity prevention and treatment. NIH seeks to identify genetic, behavioral, and environmental causes of obesity; to understand how obesity leads to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other serious health problems; and to build on basic and clinical research findings to develop and study innovative prevention and treatment strategies.
- Salud America!
The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children is a national program that aims to unite and increase the number of Latino scientists seeking environmental and policy solutions to address Latino childhood obesity.
Goal 4: Provide national leadership to accelerate implementation of evidence-informed practice and policy.
- Active Living Research
This national program contributes to the prevention of childhood obesity by supporting research to identify environmental factors and policies that influence physical activity, especially among children and families in minority/low-income communities. Research findings are used to promote active living – the integration of physical activity into one’s daily routine – by informing policy, influencing environmental design, and more. Active Living Research is administered by the San Diego State University Research Foundation.
- Active Living Research Literature Database: This resource from Active Living Research includes more than 450 papers that study the relationship of environment and policy with physical activity and obesity.
- The Convergence Partnership
This collaboration of organizations has the goal of changing policies and environments to better achieve the vision of healthy people living in healthy places. Through its outreach, investments, and activities, the Partnership aims to strengthen and accelerate multi-field, equity-focused efforts among practitioners, policy makers, funders, and advocates and create environments that support healthy eating and active living.
- Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Healthy Eating Research supports research that identifies and assesses environmental and policy influences with the greatest potential to improve healthy eating and weight patterns among U.S. children, especially among low-income and racial and ethnic populations at highest risk for obesity.
- The National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity
The network provides leaders in the childhood obesity prevention field with focused legal research, model policies, fact sheets, toolkits, training, and technical assistance to explain legal issues related to public health.
Goal 5: Work with non-health partners to integrate childhood obesity priorities with synergistic initiatives (e.g., environmental design and sustainability, food systems, food marketing, disabilities, or economics).
- Active Living by Design
This program partners with communities and leaders across the country to demonstrate how changing community design can influence and increase physical activity. Part of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, Active Living by Design establishes novel approaches to increase activity and healthy eating through community design, public policies, and communication strategies.
- Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG)
This national research study tests the effectiveness of a coordinated school- and community-based intervention. With the aim of reversing the decline in physical activity found among adolescent girls, TAAG fosters school and community environments that support the full involvement of girls in every aspect of physical activity including physical education, recreation, leisure time activities, and sports.
- We Can!™ (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition!)
A collaboration among four NIH institutes, this is a fast-growing, national movement of families and communities coming together to promote healthy weight in children ages 8-13 years. We Can! offers parents, as well as families, tips and activities to encourage improved food choices, increased physical activity, and reduced screen time. It offers community groups and health professionals resources to implement programs and activities for parents and youths.
- Active Living Resource Center
This national program provides community members with technical assistance (e.g., traffic-taming tools/ideas, bike-lane design guides) for creating physically active communities, namely by making them more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
- Body Weight Simulator
The Body Weight Simulator was developed at the Lab of Biological Modeling, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and has been presented at NCCOR Envision meetings. The Simulator takes into account baseline information, such as weight, sex, age, height, and physical activity level to calculate an individual’s “baseline diet,” or daily energy intake required to maintain one’s initial weight. The tool allows one to designate time duration, and set a “goal weight.” It calculates the diet required to reach the goal weight in the specified number of days, as well as the permanent diet required to maintain it. The Simulator also allows users to specify diet and physical activity lifestyle changes to gain accuracy. It graphs body weight versus time, body fat percentage versus time, and finally energy intake and expenditure versus time.
- Caloric Calculator
The Caloric Calculator, developed by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is a user-friendly web tool that allows individuals in a broad range of roles—including policymakers, teachers, administrators, community leaders, and parents—to explore and compare effective, evidence-based options to reduce childhood obesity. The tool makes it easy to compare the relative impacts of making changes to local, state, or federal policies in addressing childhood obesity.
- Media-Smart Youth
This is an interactive, after-school education program designed to teach youth ages 11-13 years about media influence and how it can affect their health, particularly in terms of nutrition and physical activity. Media-Smart Youth helps young people build the skills necessary to make healthy life decisions; it is a health-promotion rather than a weight-loss program.
- National Institutes of Health Prevention of Obesity in Infancy and Early Childhood Workshop Materials
This workshop brought together scientists with expertise in pediatric obesity, epidemiology, developmental psychology, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, temperament, and parenting to determine: (1) what is known regarding risk for excess weight gain in infancy and early childhood; (2) what is known regarding interventions that are promising or have been shown to be efficacious; and (3) challenges and opportunities in implementing and evaluating behavioral interventions in parents and other caregivers and their young children. The goal of the workshop was to provide the scientific background to inform research that will develop and test interventions to prevent inappropriate weight gain during infancy and early childhood, with a goal of increasing the proportion of children who enter school age at a healthy weight.
- Overweight and Obesity Policy Resources
This website from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity offers a number of policy resources related to childhood obesity prevention. These include a review of laws and policies concerning child and adolescent health, a presentation outlining strategies for helping local governments reduce and prevent obesity, and an early care and education policy review designed to help educate public health practitioners, child care providers, and decision-makers about the current conditions that exist in their state and inform future efforts to prevent obesity in this setting.
- Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers (Weight-Control Information Network)
This website and booklet is designed to help teenagers remember simple, small steps to maintain a healthy weight. The booklet offers basic facts about nutrition and physical activity, and offers practical tools that teenagers can use in everyday life – from reading food labels and selecting how much and what foods to eat, to replacing television time with physical activities.
- Weight-control Information Network (WIN)
This information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, provides the general public, health professionals, the media, and Congress with up-to-date, science-based information on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues.