Motivating systems-oriented research on environmental and policy changes for obesity prevention

L. J. Cheskin, R. Frutchey, A. Y. McDermott, L. Esposito, B. Y. Lee, S. Kumanyika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Research on the types of interventions needed for population-level prevention of childhood obesity in complex societal systems can benefit from greater use of systems-science concepts and tools. Objectives: We report outcomes of a funding programme promoting incorporation of systems-science approaches into studies of imminent policy or environmental changes potentially impacting childhood obesity. Methods: Seven funding cycles over 3 years yielded 172 initial submissions from 29 US states and 25 other countries were analyzed. Results: Submissions focused primarily on aspects of school or child-care settings, parks and recreational settings, or access to healthy food; about half reflected attention to systems perspectives. Conclusions: Analysis of initial submissions as well as the 15 funded projects showed some success in motivating use of systems concepts and tools but suggested the need for a more focused effort to educate and prepare the childhood obesity prevention research community for this potentially crucial type of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e20-e23
JournalPediatric Obesity
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Childhood obesity
  • funding mechanisms
  • prevention
  • systems science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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