Worldwide, more than 42 million children younger than age 5 are overweight, according to the World Health Organization. A global epidemic, high rates of childhood obesity around the world are prompting action in a number of ways. From policy measures to media campaigns and community-wide physical activity initiatives, NCCOR is exploring efforts taking place in other countries to build the knowledge base and catalyze action both in the United States and abroad.

Building on the work of its partners, NCCOR has looked beyond our borders for solutions to childhood obesity, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of international and U.S. researchers to explore cross-cutting goals related to reducing childhood obesity. NCCOR convenes experts to address the global burden of childhood obesity and highlights key contributions in this area from its partners. Such efforts have informed childhood obesity research and have outlined opportunities for communities across the globe to ameliorate the burden of childhood obesity. This page provides an overview of some of those efforts.

Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Across Borders: The Promise of US-Latin American Research

In 2021, The NIH Fogarty International Center’s Center for Global Health Studies published a special issue in Obesity Reviews, titled “Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Across Borders: The Promise of US-Latin American Research Collaboration.” The aim of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Across Borders: The Promise of US-Latin American Research Collaboration, led by the NIH Fogarty International Center, is to address the multifaceted nature of childhood obesity prevention in Latin America and among Latino populations in the United States. Sharing research strategies and proven methods among researchers from Latin America and the United States, especially those working with US Latino populations, can help identify common ground and lessons learned for the adaptation and implementation of evidence-informed childhood obesity prevention interventions. In addition, scientific exchange can identify shared research questions and priorities moving forward that could be addressed collaboratively.

Read a factsheet about the research initiative Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Across Borders.

Leer una hoja informativa sobre la iniciativa de investigación Prevención transfronteriza de la obesidad infantil.

View Part 1 of the webinar series Childhood Obesity Research Across Borders: Social Determinants of Health. 

View Part 2 of the webinar series, Childhood Obesity Research Across Borders: The Physical Environment.

Preventing Childhood Obesity in Latin America: An Agenda for Regional Research and Strategic Partnerships

The NIH Fogarty International Center’s Center for Global Health Studies hosted the Preventing Childhood Overweight and Obesity in Latin America: Linking Evidence to Policy and Practice workshop to bring together researchers, policymakers, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations from the U.S. and Latin America to stimulate dialogue on the state of the science and future directions regarding obesity research in the region. The two-day workshop addressed many factors relating to childhood obesity in Latin America, which led to a series of articles in the journal Obesity Reviews.

The Preventing Childhood Obesity in Latin America: An Agenda for Regional Research and Strategic Partnerships supplement addresses the state of the science, pressing research questions, models for translation of evidence into policy and program, and research capacity building priorities. This supplement shares key areas for research and critical lessons learned in Latin America that can be used to inform future obesity prevention efforts.

Building a Culture of Health – Lessons Learned from Global Efforts

In 2014, NCCOR held a one-day meeting funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to convene leading international and interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners to share lessons learned to guide ongoing efforts to reduce childhood obesity prevalence in the United States and worldwide. Panel presentations from the meeting were recorded to expand the reach of the forum and provide access to lessons learned.

In 2016, NCCOR live-streamed three special panel presentations from the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s 37th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions. The panels focused on high-impact childhood obesity strategies from around the world. Building on this work, NCCOR has continued to explore efforts to promote and maximize the outcomes of other global case studies.

Read the Lessons Learned from Global Efforts report.

View the panel presentations.

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