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Vol. LXI, No. 5
March 6, 2009

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Research Funders Collaborate To Reduce Childhood Obesity

A new National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) was launched Feb. 19 to accelerate progress on reversing the epidemic of overweight and obesity among U.S. youth. The initiative brings together the expertise and resources of NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Current NCCOR members at NIH include the Division of Nutrition Research Coordination, NCI, NHLBI, NICHD, NIDDK and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

NCCOR aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of research on childhood obesity. It will evaluate new and existing prevention approaches, rapidly assess promising policy changes and speed the application of interventions that work.

“Childhood obesity increases the risk of many chronic diseases and other problems,” said NIH acting director Dr. Raynard Kington. “By working together on key research challenges, and translating research into action at the individual, family and community levels, we can accelerate progress in reversing this public health challenge.”

Dr. James S. Marks, senior vice president and director of RWJF’s health group, said, “We’re going to build on our organizations’ complementary strengths. In 5 years, we hope to be able to say that NCCOR played a key role in reversing childhood obesity rates.”

NCCOR will focus on efforts that have great potential to benefit children, teens and their families and the communities in which they live. It will put a special emphasis on the populations in which obesity rates are highest, including African-American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander children and children living in low-income communities.

“Today, 12 million children and adolescents in the United States are obese and another 11 million are overweight,” said Dr. Janet Collins, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “We believe that more coordinated research will be able to have major impact in solving this critical health issue.”

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