NIH’s New Plan to Curb Obesity Focuses on Research

national institute of healthAccording to a report from ScienceDaily, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is encouraging scientific investigations to combat the obesity epidemic through a new strategic plan for obesity research. With more than one out of three adults and nearly 17 percent of children in the United States now obese, our nation faces escalating health concerns and costs. Obesity is linked to many health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and some cancers.

The National Institute of Health funds research to reduce obesity and its health consequences, which was an investment of $824 million in fiscal year 2010. The new strategic plan was created by the NIH Obesity Research Task Force, a coalition led by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Cancer Institute. The plan’s development focuses on the role of research in obesity reduction, and emphasizes moving science from laboratory to clinical trials to practical solutions. According to the article, some of the key research recommendations are: “to figure out the key processes that regulate body weight and influence behavior, understand the factors that contribute to obesity and its consequences, and design and test new approaches for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. “

The plan also highlights the importance of education and outreach in expanding proven strategies to community programs and medical practice. These measures should increase the reach of research and improve public health.

You can read ScienceDaily’s article here and the NIH Strategic Plan here.


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