Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration

Obesity Publications

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Preventing Early Childhood Obesity in North Carolina, NIHCM Foundation, September 2014.
More than 8 percent of two- to five-year-olds are obese, and another 23 percent are overweight and at substantial risk of becoming obese by the eighth grade. These early years are a critical time to focus on the development of healthy habits. In 2011, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and the North Carolina Partnership for Children developed Shape NC to help improve the nutrition and physical activity of young children through child care centers and community alliances. This new fact sheet highlights the early success of Shape NC and details plans to expand the initiative, to refine the way outcomes are measured and to deploy a new evidence-informed framework for community-led systems change.

Community Partnerships to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Florida, NIHCM Foundation, October 2013.
For over a decade, rising obesity rates have topped the nation’s child health concerns, with one in three youth now overweight or obese. While we may be seeing these trends begin to subside, sustained progress will depend on continued action by the government, communities and the private sector. Across Florida, communities have been taking action to address childhood obesity with support from an initiative of the Florida Blue Foundation. Through Embrace a Healthy Florida, six organizations in different parts of the state are given resources and training to build coalitions and distribute grants for local prevention activities. This Promising Practices in Maternal and Child Health fact sheet looks at how a community-driven approach has allowed the Florida Blue Foundation to target efforts based on the specific needs and opportunities facing a diverse state.

Expert Voices: An Insider's View of National Strategies to Control the Obesity Epidemic, William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, Former Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2013. 
Policies aimed at reversing the nation's obesity epidemic can quickly become mired in controversy, but the need for solutions is urgent: 36 percent of American adults are now obese, and obesity-related medical costs are estimated at $150 billion per year. In this essay, Dr. Dietz outlines the range of obesity-reduction efforts developed during his 15 years at the CDC, stressing the importance of policy and environmental strategies designed to make the healthy choice the easier choice.

Bringing the Blue Zones® to Iowa—Collaborating to Improve Statewide Health, NIHCM Foundation, February 2013.
Iowa is on a mission to become the healthiest state in the nation by 2016, and it has a plan. One of the centerpieces of that plan is the Blue Zones Project, a cutting-edge program to improve individual health through community-wide environmental and social change. Project partners Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Healthways, and Blue Zones, together with local leaders, are working to restructure communities in a way that guides residents toward healthier behaviors. This fact sheet describes the evidence and theory behind the Blue Zones Project and how stakeholders in 19 demonstration sites are working to make healthy lifestyles the local custom.

Preventing Early Childhood Obesity in North Carolina, NIHCM Foundation, September 2012. 
The nutrition and physical activity children receive while in day care is a vital part of helping them develop healthy behaviors. Elevating the health policies, practices and facilities of child care providers in North Carolina is one of the primary goals of Shape NC, a three-year, three-million-dollar partnership between the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and the North Carolina Partnership for Children. This fact sheet details how the Shape NC partnership is joining grant funding and training resources with a vast network of community-based alliances, and it highlights early data showing that participating communities and care centers are indeed shaping up.

Expert Voices: Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue, Jonathan Gruber, PhD, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 2010.
Sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol have a long history in the U.S., and many credit cigarette taxes as being the single most effective strategy in achieving our dramatic reductions in smoking. Similar taxes have been proposed in recent years as one weapon in our fight against rising obesity rates, and a new study has just added support for this policy by showing that higher prices for sweetened sodas are associated with lower caloric intake, lower weight, and better health. In this essay, Dr. Gruber reviews the rationales for and experience with sin taxes for cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, and offers his insights on using sin taxes to combat obesity.

Childhood Obesity: Harnessing the Power of Public and Private Partnerships, NIHCM Foundation and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 2007.
The report presents three case studies in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Tennessee of collaborative obesity prevention programs between state health agencies and health plans. In a brief breakout box, the report features a fourth case, North Carolina. North Carolina’s collaborative activities are expanded upon in a four-page supplement to the report, entitled A Comprehensive Approach to Fighting Childhood Obesity: The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund.

Health Plans' Role in Preventing Overweight In Children and Adolescents, Drs. William Dietz and Howell Wechsler, CDC, and NIHCM Foundation; Health Affairs, March 2007. 
This paper describes evidence-based behavioral-change strategies implemented by seven health plans and discusses the importance of environmental modifications to support medical setting interventions.

Advancing Obesity Prevention and Control: Lessons Learned from a CDC-NIHCM Leadership Forum, NIHCM Foundation, May 2006.
This meeting brief describes the major findings from the March 2006 NIHCM/CDC Leadership Forum, which highlighted current health plan strategies in weight reduction and management and discussed the need for evaluation and evidence based strategies. 

Tackling Obesity Through Public-Private Collaboration, NIHCM Foundation, March 2006. 
This brief was prepared for the Leadership Forum entitled "Obesity Prevention and Control: Building the Evidence Base." It provides context for those in the private and public sectors who with to work together, pragmatically, to tackle what the IOM considers a national public health priority.

The Evidence Base: How to Prevent Obesity and Manage Weight Gain Through Increased Physical Activity and Improved Nutrition, NIHCM Foundation, March 2006. 
This table synthesizes currently available evidence on obesity reduction and weight management programs.

Health Plans Emerging As Pragmatic Partners in Fight Against Obesity, NIHCM Foundation, April 2005. 
The paper describes cutting-edge obesity initiatives in health plans across the country and features essays on the obesity problem contributed by leading thinkers among a cross-section of stakeholders. The paper provides information on prevalence and trends as well as the health and economic impact of obesity. It also addresses current issues in the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Obesity in Young Children: Impact and Intervention, August 2004, 12pp. 
Based on research conducted by RAND, this brief highlights the importance of addressing obesity in children beginning at an early age and points the way toward effective, early intervention that can help stem the alarming rise in the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Childhood Obesity - Advancing Effective Prevention and Treatment: An Overview for Health Professionals, Debra Kibbe and Richard Offner, ILSI Center for Health Promotion, April 2003, 48pp. 
This issue paper provides an overview of pediatric overweight as well as the current treatment and prevention options. Key issues discussed include prevalence and trends, etiologic factors, health and economic impact, and intervention programs. A resource list highlighting numerous health care, school, and community initiatives is included and web-based resources are also available for further guidance. Effective partnerships and unique strategies are identified as crucial to successfully address this critical public health issue.

Childhood Obesity: Advancing Effective Prevention and Treatment - Action Brief 11, NIHCM Foundation, November 2003.

Coordinating Efforts on Childhood Obesity - Action Brief 9, NIHCM Foundation, March 2002.