Request for Information (RFI) on Improved Understanding of Risk and Mechanisms for Developing Obesity in Infants and Young Children

Purpose: The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit innovative ideas to better characterize risk factors and understand the underlying mechanisms through which these factors contribute to the development of obesity during early childhood. The goal is to develop innovative, targeted and more effective strategies for childhood obesity prevention.
Receipt Date: Expires: February 28, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Total Awards: Does not specify.
Eligibility: This RFI seeks input from stakeholders throughout the scientific research community and the public regarding any of the following topics, as well as any additional ideas not included below:

  • Research to better characterize molecular profiles (including the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, lipodome, and microbiome) and metabolic and biobehavioral phenotypes that predict or determine the development of obesity during early childhood.
  • Use of a systems biology approach (including the study and integration of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, lipodome, and microbiome) to determine underlying biological and behavioral mechanisms for the development of obesity during early childhood and their interactions.
  • Use of technological advances to characterize individual variability in neurocognitive function/traits, sleep, activity/exercise, ingestive behaviors, and nutrition and the composition of diet (including composition of human milk, if applicable) and to better understand how they impact growth, body composition, and the development of obesity during early childhood.
  • Use of methods [including Global Positioning System (GPS) and others]to better understand how differences in social and environmental context may differentially influence phenotypic expression.
  • Research approaches that will improve understanding of the mechanisms by which children are at higher or lower risk for accelerated growth trajectories and the development of obesity in the early years, including types of study designs, study sample characteristics, and assessment methodologies.
  • Specific populations for whom research on risk and underlying mechanisms should be prioritized (and a rationale for the proposed priorities). This could include, but is not limited to, developmental stage (e.g., intrauterine environment, first 6 months of life, puberty, etc.); families with a strong family history of obesity or with siblings discordant for obesity;children with severe obesity;or at-risk populations, such as racial and ethnic minority populations or children/families of low socioeconomic status.
  • Characterization of particular challenges, acceptability, and feasibility of obtaining biospecimens/tissue samples, imaging, and other relevant metabolic, biobehavioral, and environmental measures in real-time and at sensitive time periods from mothers, infants, young children, and families as well as strategies to address/overcome them.
  • Resources (e.g., biorepositories, registries, and electronic health records) that could be leveraged or used to advance mechanistic studies in humans.