The NIH has released its plan to encourage diverse scientific studies to combat the U.S. obesity epidemic.
More than one-third of American adults and nearly 17 percent of children are now obese, raising their chances of developing health problems and potentially lowering their quality of life. The Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research identifies a range of research opportunities to continue the search for the causes of obesity, develop effective and practical interventions for prevention and treatment, reduce health disparities, and inform policy. The NHLBI acting director is one of three co-chairs for the NIH Obesity Research Task Force, which developed the plan with input from scientists external to the NIH, health professionals, and the public.
Obesity is of particular concern to the NHLBI because it increases people's risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and respiratory disorders, including asthma and sleep-disordered breathing. The institute has long supported a range of obesity-related research and translational activities, including basic research, population studies, clinical trials, clinical practice guideline development, investigations into effective lifestyle interventions, and public health campaigns such as We Can!®, which encourages children and families to aim for a healthy weight.
It is our hope that the strategic plan will guide research that will ultimately help people enjoy longer and healthier lives.
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NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins talks about the importance of obesity research and the NIH's strategic plan. The NHLBI acting director co-chaired the task force that developed the plan.