DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Active Living Research (ALR) and Healthy Eating Research (HER), two national programs supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, propose to hold a conference titled, "Study Designs and Analytic Strategies for Environmental and Policy Research on Obesity, Physical Activity, and Diet". The invitation-only meeting will be held on April 8, 2008 in Washington, DC and has been planned collaboratively with NIH staff.
The need for evidence related to environment and policy influences and interventions regarding obesity, diet, and physical activity is increasing in importance as government, philanthropy, communities, schools, and health professionals implement programs and policies to address the obesity crisis. The need for a systematic approach to obesity research that includes environmental and policy research is consistent with the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research theme of preventing and treating obesity through lifestyle and environmental modification. There are numerous methodologic challenges to conducting environmental and policy research that need to be overcome for this field to advance. The conference will contribute to improving methodology for etiologic and intervention studies. A highly-diverse Organizing Committee has developed a conference plan that will contribute to the NIH Strategic Plan and build on 3 recent NIH-sponsored workshops.
The proposed conference is designed to identify strategies for making progress in overcoming critical methodological challenges by focusing on the following objectives: 1) Identify highest priority gaps in knowledge on environment and policy factors that may lead to solutions for obesity, poor diet, and physical inactivity; 2). Identify promising study designs to enhance environmental and policy research on obesity, diet, and physical activity; 3). Identify promising analytic strategies that can be applied to improve environmental and policy research on obesity, diet, and physical activity; and 4) Build the capacity of new investigators to make important contributions to environmental and policy research on obesity, diet, and physical activity. For each topic a presenter and discussant will summarize the key issues and make recommendations. Small discussion groups will refine and prioritize recommendations. The goal is to make recommendations for overcoming methodologic challenges and for needed methodologic research. The summary report and all slides will be posted on the internet and disseminated widely. New investigators and minority investigators will be invited to participate in the conference. (End of Abstract)
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