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NCCOR celebrates five years of accelerating progress through childhood obesity research

March 26, 2014

A growing body of evidence suggests that after 30 years of increases, the prevalence of childhood obesity is finally beginning to decline in some communities across the United States. Most recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 43 percent drop in the obesity rate over the past decade among children 2–5 years old. This incredible turnaround can be attributed to many factors, including a better understanding of the causes of and solutions for childhood obesity.

NCCOR celebrates five years and looks toward the road ahead

2014 marks the fifth year that FHI 360’s social marketing and communication team has been at the center of research and evaluation to turn the tide on childhood obesity, most notably through our role as the Coordinating Center for the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR). NCCOR is a groundbreaking public–private partnership between the CDC, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is the first organization to leverage the intellectual and financial resources of the nation’s four largest funders of childhood obesity research in a common mission to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and application of childhood obesity research. 

FHI 360 has helped these organizations think strategically, collaborate across agencies and get results. Our innovative approach to this partnership has received significant recognition, including through the inaugural HHSinnovates award, personally chosen by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and the NIH Director’s Award.

NCCOR’s work includes:

  • Creating two free, online research tools — the Catalogue of Surveillance Systems and Measures Registry — that help investigators work more efficiently and effectively.
  • Stimulating broad thinking by forming Envision, a global network of statistical and simulation modeling teams that forecast the impact of public health policies and interventions. NCCOR supported a series of Envision papers in The Lancet, a journal on public health. More than 630 media articles were written on the series, sparking debate and discussion among stakeholders.
  • Forming a new rapid response funding mechanism through NIH, which significantly reduced grant application times and enhanced researchers’ ability to conduct time-sensitive research.
  • Helping the USDA to assemble a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) Toolkit of tools and interventions that embody community-based and public health approaches to nutrition education and obesity prevention.
  • Assisting prominent NIH scientists in using the Healthy Eating Index to assess the availability of healthy foods in the U.S. food supply and translate those findings into a creative video and infographics.

For more information on FHI 360’s accomplishments through this program, check out the 2013 NCCOR annual report at www.nccor.org.