NIH obesity plan focuses on real-world research

CHICAGO Fri Apr 1, 2011 9:55am EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Health officials Thursday announced a new effort to curb America's obesity epidemic by moving science from the lab into clinical trials to find practical ways for prevention and treatment.

"This plan is a bold blueprint that will encourage the research community to examine the epidemic of obesity from diverse perspectives," National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins said in a statement.

More than a third of adults and nearly 17 percent of children in the United States are obese, increasing their chances of developing health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease and some cancers.

NIH spent $971 million in fiscal year 2010 on obesity research, with $147 million of that in one-time stimulus funds.

Under the plan, NIH will fund studies to test new ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight in real-world settings and diverse populations.

It also will focus on understanding biological processes that regulate weight, and factors that contribute to obesity and the health issues it causes.

Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. medical spending, or an estimated $147 billion a year.

Studies have shown that obese children are more likely to stay obese as adults, and that they develop chronic conditions at younger ages, burdening the healthcare system.

Last year, a White House Task Force on childhood obesity outlined steps federal agencies can take, and first lady Michelle Obama launched the "Let's Move" initiative that aims to solve childhood obesity within a generation.

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Comments (3)
mmc123 wrote:
What is the name of this report or document? Every story should include such information.

Apr 01, 2011 11:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
dewey1234 wrote:
NIH study found at

I agree that this should have been included.

Apr 04, 2011 1:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
barbtyme wrote:
They had to spend that much money in 2010 to find out why people are obese? They are obese because they are eating the wrong foods and not exercising! You don’t need research to find that out. Use that money to educate people on food choices and exercise programs. Educate the parents on what to feed their kids! Create and develop programs for people that can’t afford fruits and vegetables, not research on why people are obese, that’s just common sense!

Apr 05, 2011 3:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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