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About NIH Obesity Research


The health problem of obesity

Obesity has risen to epidemic levels in the U.S. It causes devastating and costly health problems, reduces life expectancy, and is associated with stigma and discrimination. A multitude of factors likely contribute to obesity, from inherent biological traits that differ between individuals relevant to body weight; to environmental and socioeconomic factors; to behavioral factors--which may have both molecular and environmental influences. Thus, the diverse efforts of many federal agencies and public and private organizations will be valuable in working towards reducing obesity.

Role of the NIH in Addressing the U.S. Obesity Epidemic: Research Contributions

Given the complexity and multiplicity of the forces driving the obesity epidemic, the NIH recognizes that it cannot, by itself, solve this major public health problem. However, the NIH can and must be a key contributor to solving the obesity problem through scientific research. Through its research mission, the NIH is seeking to capitalize on recent scientific discoveries to propel new efforts towards further understanding the forces contributing to obesity and towards developing strategies for prevention and treatment.

The increase in obesity over the past 30 years has been fueled by a complex interplay of environmental, social, economic, and behavioral factors, acting on a background of genetic susceptibility. Thus, the NIH supports a broad spectrum of obesity-related research, including molecular, genetic, behavioral, environmental, clinical, and epidemiologic studies. The challenges of today's obesity epidemic are daunting, yet the discoveries emanating from previous research investments offer unprecedented opportunities for new scientific research efforts to help meet these challenges.


The NIH Obesity Research Task Force

Given the importance of the obesity epidemic as a public health problem, and its relevance to the mission of most of the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICs), the NIH Obesity Research Task Force was established to accelerate progress in obesity research across the NIH. The Task Force is co-chaired by the Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers; the Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher; and the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Dr. Gary H. Gibbons. The members of the Task Force are representatives from these and many other NIH ICs.

The following NIH components are represented on the Task Force
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
NIDDK obesity research
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
NHLBI obesity research
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
NCI energy balance research
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
NICHD obesity research
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
NIH Division of Nutrition Research Coordination (DNRC) NIH Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)
Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Office of Science Policy (OSP)

Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research

Additional NIH Research Information Resources

Clinical Trials Related to Obesity

To search for information about clinical trials in human volunteers, including the purpose of each trial, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov/ . Please note that some trials may not currently be enrolling volunteers. Please also note that the ClinicalTrials.gov website offers different search options, including focused searches for trials sponsored by the NIH and/or other agencies and organizations.

National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)

To advance and accelerate progress in addressing childhood obesity in America, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) formed the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR). NCCOR's mission is to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and application of childhood obesity research through enhanced coordination and collaboration.

NCCOR is developing tools for obesity researchers. Released in February 2011, the Catalogue of Surveillance Systems www.nccor.org/css  Exit Disclaimer Icon provides an online directory of over 75 surveillance systems containing data relevant to obesity research. For additional information about NCCOR, please visit: www.nccor.org  Exit Disclaimer Icon .

NIH Information on Federally-Funded Research Projects

The Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) - To enhance public accessibility to reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities, the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) website gives the public a single access point to quickly and easily find data, including information on NIH expenditures and the results of NIH-supported research. For additional information visit: http://report.nih.gov/index.aspx


Last Modified: 10/26/2012

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