Nutrition & Physical Activity Policy Research

Research Projects

CHOICES4CHOICES: CHildhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study

This project is a collaboration between the Harvard School of Public Health, Columbia University and research partners at Deakin and Queensland University in Australia. Over a three-year period, the CHOICES Research Team will assess the comparative-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of approximately 40 interventions aimed at reducing childhood obesity, including policy changes and interventions that have been identified as being effective, promising or prevalent.

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tape meas nutr 104x104 (tape_meas_nutr_label_104x104.jpg)Monitoring and Evaluating Childhood Obesity Interventions

This project consists of monitoring and evaluation activities that critically examine actual and hypothetical policy and environmental interventions designed to halt and eventually reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. It includes the application of mathematical and statistical models to understand and forecast the future of the obesity epidemic, including out “energy gap” model, trend prediction models, and microsimulation model or energy balance in growth.

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piggybank 104x104 (piggy_bank_104x104.jpg)ACE (Assessing Cost Effectiveness) Obesity America

This project is a collaboration between the HPRC, Columbia University, and Deakin University in Australia to identify cost-effective options for childhood obesity interventions. It builds on the work of our Australian partners, who used the best available evidence to calculate health impacts in terms of body mass index and disability-adjusted life years saved. Applying the ACE-Obesity framework to the U.S. is one aim of Monitoring and Evaluating Childhood Obesity Interventions.

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kids walking to school 104x104 (kids_walking_to_school_104x104.jpg)Economic Investment in Communities through Safe Routes to School

This project documents economic investment in communities through the federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program and examines the distribution of funds across diverse areas. We develop measures of successful SRTS economic investment and project implementation in low-resource communities based on stated objectives of the SRTS program. We aim to inform policies to support equitable, comprehensive SRTS programs and safe, active environments for youth.

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Research Networks

girl drinking fountain 104x104 (girl_drinking_fountain_104x104.jpg)Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN)

NOPREN is a thematic research network of the CDC’s Prevention Research Center Program. Its mission is to conduct transdisciplinary nutrition- and obesity-related policy research and evaluation. The work of NOPREN members will help foster understanding of the effectiveness of policies related to preventing childhood obesity through improved access to affordable, healthy foods and beverages in a variety of settings, such as communities, worksites, and schools.

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PAPRN shoe 104x104 (paprn_shoe_square_104x104.gif)Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN)

PAPRN is a thematic research network of the CDC’s Prevention Research Center Program. Its mission is to conduct transdisciplinary policy research that addresses the determinants, dissemination, implementation, and outcomes of physical activity-related policies. As a collaborating center, the HPRC works with PAPRN and the CDC to develop resources to educate local and state policymakers on translating and disseminating physical activity policy research.

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cpcrn 104x104 (cpcrn_104x104.jpg)Massachusetts Cancer Prevention Community Research Network

MCPCRN is a collaborative research network initiated by the Harvard and Boston University Prevention Research Centers and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s Reduction of Cancer Risk and Disparities Program. Its mission is to foster collaborative research among community organizations and public health researchers. It focuses on addressing disparities in cancer risk due to socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity by working with a range of community organizations.

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COMnet logo 104x110 (comnet_logo_104x110.jpg)Collaborative Obesity Modeling Network (COMnet)

COMnet is a project to connect leading childhood obesity modelers. Groups use a variety of statistical models to study trends in obesity and the impact of various causes of the epidemic in multiple countries. The team from Harvard and Columbia Universities has focused on modeling changes in obesity rates in the U.S. and has estimated the “energy gap” responsible for changes in weight distribution among children and teens.