Once obesity develops it is likely to persist. Given this understanding, there has been an increasing focus on preventing obesity in infancy and early childhood. Research to develop and implement effective prevention and intervention strategies in the first two years after birth has been limited.
In fall 2013, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases convened a multidisciplinary workshop to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the prevention of infant and early childhood obesity and to identify research gaps and opportunities. A workshop summary was recently published in the March 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. A related funding opportunity announcement was also released.
The workshop addresses the following questions:
- What is known regarding risk for excess weight gain in infancy and early childhood?
- What is known regarding interventions that are promising or have been shown to be efficacious?
- What are the challenges and opportunities in implementing and evaluating behavioral interventions for parents and other caregivers and their young children?
The R01 funding opportunity invites applications from institutions/organizations which propose to characterize or identify factors in early childhood (birth-24 months) that may increase or mitigate risk for obesity and/or excessive weight gain and/or to fill methodological research gaps relevant to the understanding of risk for development of obesity in children.