This month, NCCOR released the third and final white paper based on a series of workshops on advancing measurement for childhood obesity. The white paper, titled “Advancing Measurement of Environmental and Policy Influences on Childhood Obesity,” describes the workshop held on February 27–28, 2020. The workshop series was funded by The JPB Foundation.
Leading research and practice experts were convened to (1) illustrate current challenges, needs, and gaps in measurement of environment and policy related to diet and physical activity and (2) discuss current practices used to adapt existing measures and develop new measures of environment and policy.
This whitepaper highlights recommendations for actionable steps to address short-term (1–3 years) and medium-term (3–5 years) measurement needs in these areas. Some recommendations include: (1) identify measures, methods, and approaches for collecting data where little information exists; (2) create new approaches for optimizing measurement, incorporating measures into existing sources of data and disseminating them widely; and (3) work across disciplines and sectors to synthesize measurement approaches that have been well-developed in other sectors and identify measures from other sectors that are appropriate for community health. The white paper can be accessed on the NCCOR website at www.nccor.org/measurement-workshop-series/.
The first two white papers—”Advancing Measurement of Individual Behaviors Related to Childhood Obesity” and “Advancing Measurement for High-Risk Populations and Communities Related to Childhood Obesity”—are also available on the NCCOR website. These papers stem from a series of three workshops that aimed to define next steps in measurement needs to accelerate progress in reducing childhood obesity. From its inception, a key priority for NCCOR has been to promote the more common use of high-quality and standardized measures and methods across childhood obesity prevention and research, surveillance, and interventions. Use of such measures enhances the potential for comparison of results across different studies and the rapid advancement of progress against childhood obesity.
In addition, NCCOR plans to publish a synthesis of findings and recommendations from the three workshops in the scientific literature. Priority areas from these workshops will help advance the development of improved measures that can be used across a range of research, surveillance, and intervention activities related to childhood obesity by addressing the many levels of influences, such as policies and environmental factors, that impact the onset and progression of childhood obesity.