New project identifies effective community-based strategies to prevent childhood obesity

To improve success rates and combat continuing disparities in the fight against childhood obesity, the Childhood Obesity Declines Project (COBD) is taking a systematic approach to studying community-based strategies that have led to declining obesity rates. A comprehensive overview of the rationale behind the COBD, its goals and overall design is presented in a special supplement to Childhood Obesity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Childhood Obesity website.

Tina Kauh, PhD, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ and colleagues from ICF International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD authored the article entitled "Childhood Obesity Declines Project: An Effort of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research to Explore Progress in Four Communities." The COBD documented in detail how the community-based obesity strategies were developed and put into practice. The results of this project can help identify effective strategies to implement in high-risk populations in which the prevalence of childhood obesity continues to rise leading to persistent disparities across the nation.

The article is part of a special supplement of Childhood Obesity focused on the COBD, a project of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR). The supplement features articles that examine the project's methodology, the strategies and policies implemented in the four focus communities that reported declines, and the implications of the project findings for future research. Guest Editors Deborah Young-Hyman, PhD, National Institutes of Health and Laura Kettel Khan, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided editorial leadership for the supplement.

"Communities throughout the country have instituted programs and implemented policies to prevent obesity among children, the citizens of our future!" says Childhood Obesity Editor-in-Chief Tom Baranowski, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. "Knowing which programs and policies are most likely to have an effect is a critical issue to stop this epidemic. The articles in this issue are an important first step in identifying what works."

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