The development of childhood obesity: theory, methodology, and prevention

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Currently in the U.S., 1 in 4 children are at risk for becoming overweight, and even higher rates are found in minority children. Despite the social, health, and economic costs that accompanies obesity, few causal risk and protective factors have been identified and prevention programs have had limited success in influencing children's weight gain. In response, investigators now emphasize the need for integrated theoretical frameworks to better identify these factors and design cost-effective prevention programs. Specifically, researchers have cited ecological, behavioral, and developmental models. Together these models help to understand the etiology of childhood obesity over time in diverse populations. The current research proposal outlines a training plan with the long-term goals of fulfilling this need in obesity research and prevention. The specific aims are: (1) to train in developmental, behavioral, and ecological models related to the etiology of childhood obesity within diverse populations, (2) to train in advanced methodological approaches, (3) to employ theoretical models and sophisticated methodologies to gain expertise in investigating correlate and causal risk and protective factors, and (4) to utilize the aforementioned training to develop expertise in preventive intervention design, implementation, and evaluation. To fulfill these aims, the proposed activities include graduate coursework and research training in theoretical concepts, methodology, prevention, basic research, and obesity development. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Through the proposed training, the applicant will promote pubic health by (1) preparing manuscripts that improve current knowledge on obesity development and effective prevention strategies, and (2) acquiring the skills necessary to later conduct effective obesity prevention research within ethnically-diverse populations. This training plan addresses the agendas of both the NICHD and NHLBI by its focus on identifying risk and protective factors for childhood obesity and designing effective prevention programs. It is also in agreement with the goals of the NIH Strategic Plan for Obesity Research: i.e., to promote research in preventing and treating obesity through lifestyle modification, and understanding health disparities in obesity.
Effective start/end date6/1/085/31/12


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $35,454.00
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $36,282.00
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $35,862.00
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $35,658.00


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