Rates of childhood obesity are finally beginning to slow, or even decline, in some communities, and this positive development lends urgency and momentum to childhood obesity research efforts. In recognition of National Childhood Obesity Awareness month this September, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is calling on partners, public health experts, health care professionals, and others engaged with the movement to show their support for childhood obesity research. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we are sharing the top three ways NCCOR is accelerating progress to reduce childhood obesity:
- Improving and Updating Tools for Researchers. NCCOR creates research tools that help investigators work more efficiently and effectively. As scientists themselves, NCCOR members know that researchers need the best tools to tackle the toughest public health questions. NCCOR maintains three free, online resources—the Catalogue of Surveillance Systems, Measures Registry, and Registry of Studies—which provide one-stop access for researchers to review, sort, and compare surveillance systems and measures relevant to childhood obesity research. Look for newly developed Youth Energy Expenditure tool in early 2017.
- Connecting the field to emerging issues and findings. NCCOR advances the field by exploring emerging and important childhood obesity research topics. This year NCCOR has explored an array of topics of interest to obesity researchers, communities and other stakeholders including drivers of childhood obesity declines and health care-community In March, NCCOR presented three sessions and provide live stream coverage via a Connect & Explore at the Society for Behavioral Medicine on promising U.S. and international strategies for reducing childhood obesity.
- Engaging Experts in Childhood Obesity. Accelerating declines in childhood obesity requires involvement of a wide range of disciplines, perspectives and areas of expertise. In March, NCCOR convened a workshop of a diverse group of experts to examine how innovation across relevant disciplines can contribute to progress in the field of behavioral design to foster active living and healthy eating. NCCOR also brought together experts on youth energy expenditure and put forth a call for new data on youth MET values. This work culminated in an NCCOR sponsored special supplement in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health highlighting 17 papers from four countries including values for nearly 100 separate physical activities, substantially enriching knowledge about activities in which children and youth engage.