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.


  • Cross-Sector Responses to Obesity: Models for Change ... Released: June 15, 2015
    Obesity affects 17 percent of children and adolescents and almost 36 percent of adults in the United States. In 2014, the IOM created the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions to engage leadership from multiple sectors in responding to the obesity crisis. In the roundtable's second workshop, which was held on September 30, 2014, presenters explored ways in which sectors can work together to achieve more progress than would be possible with any sector working on its own.
  • Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions ... Released: June 10, 2015
    On April 14-15, 2015, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions held a 2-day workshop titled “Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions.” The goal of the April 14-15 workshop was to provide an expert summary of the state of the science regarding the impact of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity and to highlight innovative strategies for promoting physical activity across segments of the population.
  • Examining a Developmental Approach to Childhood Obesity ... Released: March 30, 2015
    On February 26–27, 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board and the IOM and the National Research Council Board on Children, Youth, and Families convened a workshop in Washington, DC, to explore the body of evolving science that examines the nexus of biology, interaction between biology and environment, and developmental stage on risk for childhood obesity. The workshop focused on the prenatal period, infancy, and early childhood and evidence from animal and human studies.
  • Relationships Among the Brain, the Digestive System, and ... Released: March 13, 2015
    On July 9-10, 2014, the Institute of Medicine’s Food Forum hosted a public workshop to explore emerging and rapidly developing research on relationships among the brain, the digestive system, and eating behavior. Drawing on expertise from the fields of nutrition and food science, animal and human physiology and behavior, and psychology and psychiatry as well as related fields, the purpose of the workshop was to review current knowledge on the relationship between the brain and eating behavior, explore the interaction between the brain and the digestive system, and consider what is known about the brain’s role in eating patterns and consumer choice; evaluate current methods used to determine the impact of food on brain activity and eating behavior; and identify gaps in knowledge and articulate a theoretical framework for future research.
  • Review of WIC Food Packages: An Evaluation of White ... Released: February 03, 2015
    At the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an expert Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee is undertaking a comprehensive review of the food packages used in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to bring the program into alignment with current dietary guidelines.
  • Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks ... Released: January 14, 2015
    NASA’s Human Research Program developed a collection of evidence reports that provide “the current record of the state of knowledge from research and operations” for more than 30 human health and performance risks related to long-duration and exploration spaceflights. To review NASA’s evidence reports, the IOM assembled a multi-disciplinary committee with expertise in aerospace medicine, occupational health, radiation medicine, human performance, systems engineering, human-computer interaction, internal medicine, physiology and cardiovascular health, immunology, behavioral health and sociology, task simulation and training, and biomedical informatics.
  • A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System ... Released: January 13, 2015
    The committee’s report, A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System, sponsored by The JPB Foundation, presents guiding principles and practical steps to help stakeholders weigh tradeoffs and choose policies that integrate benefits and risks across various domains.
  • Cross-Sector Responses to Obesity: Workshop in Brief ... Released: December 01, 2014
    On September 30, 2014, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions held a 1-day workshop titled “Cross-Sector Work on Obesity Prevention, Treatment, and Weight Maintenance: Models for Change.” The workshop was designed to explore models of cross-sector work that may reduce the prevalence and consequences of obesity, discuss lessons learned from case studies of cross-sector initiatives, and spur future cross-sector collaboration. The first half of the workshop examined four considerations important to cross-sector work: health equity, sustainability, leadership, and measurement. The second half of the workshop examined five case studies that represent cross-sector collaboratives at different levels of organization, from the tribal and regional to the county, state, and national levels.
  • Relationships Among the Brain, the Digestive System, and ... Released: September 01, 2014
    On July 9-10, 2014, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Food Forum hosted a public workshop to explore emerging and rapidly developing research on relationships between the brain, digestive system, and eating behavior. The figure below illustrates the complex relationships between the brain, digestive system, and eating behavior and the influence of biology and the environment.
  • The Current State of Obesity Solutions in the United States ... Released: June 12, 2014
    For the first time in decades, promising news has emerged regarding efforts to curb the obesity crisis in the United States. For example, obesity rates have fallen among low-income children in several states, the prevalence of obesity has plateaued among girls, and targeted efforts in some states have reduced the prevalence of obesity among children. Yet major problems remain. Diseases associated with obesity continue to incur substantial costs and cause widespread human suffering. In 2013 the IOM formed the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions to engage leadership from multiple sectors in addressing the obesity crisis. In January 2014, the roundtable held its first public workshop which featured presentations that described interventions designed to prevent and treat obesity in different settings.