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The NICHD’s research efforts within the obesity arena fall into two major groups. Select a link below to learn more about each portfolio group:
ORSC: Obesity-Specific Research
The NICHD is a maj.or funder of childhood obesity research through both investigator-initiated projects and program-led initiatives. In broad terms, NICHD-funded research on childhood obesity can be categorized as follows:
Primary Care Interventions: Pediatric obesity prevention or treatment studies in the primary care setting
Parenting/Feeding Interventions: Prevention or treatment studies in the home setting or with parents, focusing specifically on modifications of parenting behavior and/or child feeding practices
School-based Interventions: Prevention or treatment studies in the school setting, with varied intervention modalities that impact the diet, physical activity, and/or sedentary behavior of school-aged children and adolescents
Other Interventions: Obesity interventions not encompassed by the previous categories of primary care, parenting/feeding, or school-based interventions; includes interventions at academic research centers, summer camps, recreational facilities, work sites, or other community settings
Behavioral and Psychosocial Observational Research: Mainly observational studies that examine social and psychological antecedents, consequences, or correlates of diet, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and/or obesity in children and adolescents and that employ a wide range of epidemiological designs
Basic Sciences Research: Human in vitro or animal studies that focus primarily on the genetic, molecular, cellular, or organ-system factors related to diet, physical activity, development of adiposity, or other aspects of energy metabolism
Clinical Physiology: Human studies that focus on clinical cohorts of either normal weight or overweight children and adolescents; generally includes observational studies and examines a wide range of biomarkers for body composition, nutrition, metabolism, energy expenditure, and/or clinical precursors of disease
ORSC: Research on Diseases and Conditions Related to Obesity
Research on obesity funded by the NICHD includes studies examining obesity directly, as well as those examining diseases and conditions related to obesity. For example, diabetes and diseases related to reproductive health (such as polycystic ovary syndrome) comprise a large portion of the Institute’s funding for research on obesity-related diseases.
In addition, other research encompasses studies that are peripherally related to obesity, but that are not focused on diabetes or reproductive health. Examples of such studies include gastrointestinal nutrient signals and indigestion, iron deficiency, and gonadotropin gene transcription and steroid feedback.