I oversee the Obesity Treatment and Prevention program portfolio, which consists primarily of behavioral intervention clinical trial research for the prevention and treatment/management of overweight/obesity across the age range in humans.
Prevention studies include primary and secondary approaches to prevent the initial development of overweight/obesity through control of inappropriate weight gain and increases in body fat; weight maintenance among those at risk of becoming overweight; and prevention of weight regain once weight loss has been achieved. Prevention of overweight/obesity in the pediatric age range in nonmedical settings is a special emphasis of this program.
Intervention studies include those designed to modify energy consumption through changes in dietary intake, energy expenditure through physical activity, and related behaviors that influence dietary energy intake and physical activity energy expenditure, with the goal of improving or achieving energy balance. Primary outcomes generally include change in BMI, BMI percentile or BMI z-score, measures of body composition, body fatness, prevalence of overweight/obesity, percent body weight loss, and weight loss maintenance. Outcomes for preliminary studies can include changes in behaviors that would potentially lead to improvements in these primary outcomes.
Intervention approaches may include implementation/application of existing programs/policies for obesity prevention; application of existing tools such as mobile devices, Internet, smart phone, or other technologies; incorporation of physical environment changes; and other modalities for the prevention or management of overweight/obesity. However, resources for the initial development of new technologies; mobile apps; educational curricula; educational videos; and infrastructure changes, such as the creation of walk/bike paths, sidewalks, and bike lanes; are more appropriate from alternative sources such as SBIR/STTR mechanisms, foundations, community, or technology development grants. Intervention approaches also may involve clinical trials for assessing approaches to losing weight or maintaining weight loss, including, but not limited to, behavioral, pharmacologic, and surgical approaches. Research proposals for novel, innovative interventions are of particular interest to our program.
We also support nonmedically oriented prevention and treatment programs and interventions carried out in school settings, worksites, home/family, and community settings for children or adults, where appropriate outcomes are targeted.