About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Creating Equal Opportunities for a Healthy Weight - Workshop ... Released: November 25, 2013
    The 2012 IOM report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention identified five environments in which change is needed to accelerate progress in obesity prevention. Each of these settings -physical activity, food and beverage, messaging, health care and worksites, and schools– interact with the others, creating a set of interconnected systems that can be changed only through engagement, leadership, and action among many groups and at many levels. The IOM Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention held a workshop to examine the role of the many factors that contribute to health disparities and to explore ways to create equity.
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Change in Food Marketing ... Released: March 04, 2013
    The childhood obesity epidemic is an urgent public health problem, and it will continue to take a substantial toll on the health of Americans. The most recent data show that almost a third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Children are exposed to an enormous amount of commercial advertising and marketing for food. In 2009, children age 2-11 saw and average of more than 10 television food ads per day. The marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages is linked to overweight and obesity. The IOM hosted a workshop which examined contemporary trends in marketing of foods and beverages to children and youth and the implications of those trends for obesity prevention.
  • Alliances for Obesity Prevention: Finding Common Ground ... Released: May 11, 2012
    Many organizations are making focused efforts to prevent obesity. To achieve their goals, accelerate their progress, and sustain their success, the assistance of many other individuals and groups—not all of them with a singular focus on obesity prevention—will be essential. In October 2011 the Institute of Medicine held a workshop that provided an opportunity for obesity prevention groups to hear from and hold discussions with many of these potential allies in obesity prevention. They explored common ground for joint activities and mutual successes, and lessons learned from efforts at aligning diverse groups with goals in common.
  • Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality : Health ... Released: August 25, 2011
    Immunizations are a cornerstone of the nation’s efforts to protect people from a host of infectious diseases. Though generally very rare or very minor, there are side effects, or “adverse effects,” associated with some vaccines. The IOM reviewed a list of adverse events associated with eight vaccines to evaluate the scientific evidence about the event–vaccine relationship. Using epidemiologic and mechanistic evidence, the committee developed 158 causality conclusions, assigning each relationship between a vaccine and an adverse health problem to one of four causation categories. Overall, the IOM committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.
  • The National Children's Study Research Plan: A Review ... Released: September 12, 2008
    The National Children s Study (NCS) is planned to be the largest long-term study of environmental and genetic effects on children s health ever conducted in the United States. By archiving all of the data collected, the NCS is intended to provide a valuable resource for analyses conducted many years into the future. This report evaluates the research plan for the NCS, by assessing the scientific rigor of the study and the extent to which it is being carried out with methods, measures, and collection of data and specimens to maximize the scientific yield of the study.
  • The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Lecture 2004: Perspectives ... Released: November 14, 2005
    The 2004 Rosenthal Lecture featured a panel talk on the IOM report, Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance.
  • Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: Focus on Schools ... Released: October 12, 2005
    This brief summary highlights the recurring themes for accelerating change and moving forward with obesity prevention efforts that emerged from the symposium: forging strategic partnerships; empowering local schools and communities; educating stakeholders; evaluating obesity prevention efforts; documenting the benefits of obesity prevention; innovating to address barriers; using a systems approach; and developing a long-term strategic plan.
  • WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change : Health and ... Released: April 27, 2005
    The committee concluded that it was time for a change in the WIC food packages and the report provides details on the proposed new food packages, summarizes how the proposed packages differ from current packages, and discusses the rationale for the proposed packages.
  • Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance : Health ... Released: September 29, 2004
    In response to a request from Congress for a prevention-oriented action plan to tackle the alarming rise in childhood obesity, the IOM Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth has developed a comprehensive national strategy that recommends specific actions for families, schools, industry, communities, and government. The committee's findings and recommendations are described in the report Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance.
  • Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to ... Released: July 28, 2004
    Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects assists policymakers in evaluating the appropriate scientific methods for detecting unintended changes in food and assessing the potential for adverse health effects from genetically modified products. In this report, the committee recommended that greater scrutiny should be given to foods containing new compounds or unusual amounts of naturally occurring substances, regardless of the method used to create them.