New from NCCOR! Measures for children at high-risk for obesity: Choosing whether to apply, adapt, or develop a measure

October 28, 2020

This month, NCCOR released a resource to bolster measurement of children at high-risk for obesity. “High-risk populations” are children and families residing in communities where the risk of obesity and related comorbidities may be highest. Factors related to high risk for obesity include an individual’s race and ethnicity, education, income, urbanicity, region of the country, and disability status and exposure to health hindering policies, social conditions, and environments such as economic or neighborhood disadvantage.

This new resource, titled Measures for Children at High Risk For Obesity: Choosing Whether to Apply, Adapt, or Develop A Measure, includes three parts: (1) a decision tree, (2) five real case studies, and (3) a resource list. It was developed based on findings from a recent review of the Measures Registry, Identification of Measurement Needs to Prevent Childhood Obesity in High-Risk Populations and Environments, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, in addition to recommendations from a 2019 workshop, Advancing Measurement for High-Risk Populations and Communities Related to Childhood Obesity, which are described in a recently published whitepaper.

The Measures for Children at High Risk For Obesity decision tree walks researchers and practitioners through a series of 10 prompts to help users determine whether to develop, adapt, or apply a measure for use in a high-risk population. Examples of questions include: “Do you have a research question and is it important to the community?”, “Has this measure been validated in your population of interest ?”, and “Does it need to be adapted?”

To accompany the decision tree, five case studies were developed to exemplify different scenarios and to describe the rationale for choosing one of the three approaches. These scenarios include: how to involve community members and stakeholders in research, how to determine whether two populations are meaningfully different, and how to apply, adapt, and develop a measure for your research population. The complimentary resource list compiles more than 40 resources including guides for adapting articles, exemplary articles, measurement tools, and frameworks.

The resource aligns with NCCOR’s efforts to improve the ability of childhood obesity researchers and program evaluators to conduct research and program evaluation with special attention to high-risk populations and communities. By creating this resource for the field, NCCOR hopes that the number of measures appropriate for populations at a high-risk for obesity increase beyond current levels.

Learn more about other NCCOR initiatives at

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