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About NIH Obesity Research


The health problem of obesity

Obesity has risen to epidemic levels in the U.S. Individuals with obesity may suffer devastating and costly health problems, face reduced life expectancy, and experience stigma and discrimination. The high prevalence of obesity likely results from a multitude of factors: inherent genetic and other biological traits that differ among individuals, environmental and socioeconomic factors, and behavioral factors--which may have both genetic and environmental influences. Obesity disproportionately affects people from certain racial and ethnic minority populations and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.

The continued efforts of government and other organizations will be valuable toward reducing obesity, so that people can look forward to healthier lives

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

As the nation’s biomedical research agency, the NIH seeks to capitalize on recent scientific discoveries to propel new efforts to better understand the factors contributing to obesity and to design and test strategies for prevention and treatment. The NIH supports a broad spectrum of obesity-related research, including studies of fundamental biologic processes that influence body weight; studies of behaviors and a range of environmental factors; clinical trials; and translational research. The challenges of today's obesity epidemic are daunting, yet the discoveries emanating from past and ongoing 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 missions 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 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Dr. Gary H. Gibbons; and the Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Dr. Diana W. Bianchi. Participants on the Task Force represent 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

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

NIH Fogarty International Center (FIC)

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)

Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)

Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes - Program Office (ECHO)

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 http://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. For additional information about NCCOR, please visit: http://www.nccor.org.

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 Updated: 11/2/2017

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