The Obesity Treatment and Prevention program supports research on the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity across the lifespan. Research focuses on critical periods for excess weight gain or high-risk populations.
Prevention research includes studies of treatment approaches to stop the initial development of overweight/obesity or to prevent additional weight or fat gain in those already overweight or obese. These approaches include behavioral, lifestyle, or environmental interventions to improve diet, decrease sedentary behavior, and increase physical activity. Treatment research focuses on clinical trials that evaluate different approaches to losing weight, improving BMI percentile in growing children, or maintaining weight loss. These interventions involve behavioral, pharmacologic, and surgical approaches.
Research to understand and address psychosocial risk factors related to weight management is also supported. For example, obesity research addressing binge eating, stress, impulsivity, and the influence of social networks might be supported if the primary aim is to improve weight management.
The program also promotes research testing environmental, policy-based, and population-based approaches to the prevention and treatment of obesity, including studies evaluating the impact of programs or policies on diet, physical activity, or obesity development.