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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, & 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 Promising Practices in Maternal and Child Health 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.
Building a Stronger Evidence Base for Employee Wellness Programs, NIHCM Foundation, May 2011.
Adoption of employee wellness programs has taken off in the United States in recent years, and a growing body of research indicates that these programs can improve employees' health and work productivity, reduce health spending, and achieve a positive return on investment. In the interest of helping to strengthen the evidence base and with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), NIHCM Foundation brought together nearly 40 experts in wellness and research methods to discuss the current state of the evidence and identify new directions for research. The resulting research agenda reflected in this report is intended to guide future research and other activities to encourage and assist employers to implement evidence-based wellness interventions.
In collaboration with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), NIHCM Foundation published a report titled, "Childhood Obesity: Harnessing the Power of Public and Private Partnerships." 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.
In collaboration with Drs. William Dietz and Howell Wechsler at CDC, NIHCM Foundation published a Health Affairs article titled "Health Plans' Role in Preventing Overweight In Children and Adolescents" (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. An abstract and the full report are available via the Health Affairs website.
Tackling Obesity Through Public-Private Collaboration, NIHCM Foundation, March 2006. NIHCM Foundation prepared this Brief in preparation 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 wish 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, NIHCM Foundation, August 2004. 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.
Women's Health Prevention and Promotion, Virginia Poole, Ph.D., Poole Consulting, LLC, and Kathryn Kushner, NIHCM Foundation, March 2005, 44 pp. This paper provides an overview of data on selected conditions influencing women's morbidity and mortality, discusses disease prevention and detection, and presents recent guidelines for screening. The topics covered include cardiovascular disease, breast and cervical cancer, mental illness, obesity, healthy behaviors, and special issues such as prenatal care. A resource list of numerous organizations and agencies working on women's health at the federal and state level is also included in the paper, and highlights the National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health (CoEs) and the National Community Health Centers in Women's Health (CCOEs).
Accelerating the Adoption of Preventive Health Services: Building New Partnerships and Community Commitment, NIHCM Foundation, October 2003, 31pp. This report presents the proceedings from a conference held in Washington D.C., convened by the NIHCM Foundation and sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report addresses issues surrounding the underuse of many preventive health services, new evidence supporting the cost effectiveness of prevention, and ways the adoption and use of preventive health services may be accelerated.