The NCCOR Childhood Obesity Evidence Base (COEB): Test of a Novel Taxonomic Meta-Analytic Method aims to:

The COEB Project aligns with NCCOR’s efforts to identify and evaluate practical and sustainable interventions as well as facilitate the ability of childhood obesity researchers and program evaluators to conduct research and program evaluation.

This Project was published as a special supplement in Childhood Obesity.

As a result of the NCCOR COEB Project, a taxonomic-specific database and several other resources were developed, which can be used to examine additional interventions and research in the field. These products are available on the NCCOR COEB Project Documentation page.

Project Documentation

The COEB Project was carried out as part of a collaborative effort with the NCCOR COEB workgroup, Mission Measurement, and an external expert panel. Full acknowledgments are listed on the acknowledgments page.

How does this project advance childhood obesity research?

The NCCOR COEB Project is an example of a novel itaxonomic approach to social science evidence aggregation, which classifies childhood obesity prevention interventions by characteristics such as study design, intended recipients, context, and intervention components. Traditionally, conventional meta-analytic approachesi have been used to examine the effectiveness of childhood obesity prevention interventions. These methods tend to examine narrowly defined obesity prevention initiatives, for example, focusing on solely school-based interventions and/or those designed as randomized controlled trials. As such, they do not allow the field to draw conclusions across settings, participants, or subjects. In the field of childhood obesity research, there is a need for analytic techniques that would allow synthesis of learning across interventions of varying designs and conducted in various settings. This approach, known as a i taxonomic meta-analysis, can be a powerful tool for summarizing the evidence that exists and for generating hypotheses that are worthy of more rigorous testing.

For the NCCOR COEB Project, this principle is applied to childhood obesity prevention interventions using body mass index (BMI) as an outcome measure. In this approach, discrete activities are isolated, which may relate to positive child outcomes in a variety of contexts for the intended recipients, children aged 2–5 years. By using the taxonomic meta-analytic approach, we examined which intervention componentsi may be more effective for specific outcomes, in this case BMI, rather than childhood obesity prevention or public health in general. The full list of intervention components (created by Mission Measurement through a Grounded Theory approach and reviewed by the NCCOR COEB Workgroup and an external expert panel is listed in supplementary materials on the NCCOR COEB Project Documentation page.12

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