Committee on Evaluating Approaches to Assessing Prevalence and Trends in Obesity
An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will examine methodological approaches to data collection, analytic procedures, and interpretation of data at the national, state, and local levels on issues related to obesity status in U.S. populations, principally children, up to 18 years of age, with consideration for inclusion of individuals up to 21 years of age and measures of trends in obesity. The committee will comment on data sources and limitations to data gathering among different population groups and advantages or disadvantages to approaches associated with recent reports on both prevalence and trend data collected at the national, state, and local levels. The committee will also consider the best approaches to evaluating differences in trends among diverse population groups, especially those at social and economic disadvantage. A brief workshop summary of the presentations and discussions at the data-gathering workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines. Based on the available evidence, the committee will develop a framework for assessing studies on trends in obesity, principally among children and young adults, for policy making and program planning purposes. The framework will guide assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of studies on prevalence and trends in obesity in the population groups of interest. The committee will recommend ways decision makers and others can move forward in assessing and interpreting reports on obesity trends. To guide future research, recommendations will be made on options for improving data collection and filling data gaps.
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