Translational research in childhood obesity prevention

Kim D Reynolds, Donna Spruijt-Metz
Evaluation & the Health Professions 2006, 29 (2): 219-45
This article explores the state of translational research in childhood obesity prevention. Five phases of translational research and emerging findings from basic science that could be useful in the design of obesity prevention programs are described. Few intervention studies have been published, and these are dominated by Phase 3 trials (efficacy), conducted in school settings, with a limited number of studies finding significant effects on Body Mass Index or adiposity. Cost-benefit analyses are lacking. Research is needed to translate basic science findings into novel interventions (Phases 1 and 2) and to translate programs with known behavior change capability into dissemination trials (Phase 5). Translation can be facilitated by enhanced communication between basic science and prevention science researchers, the development of interventions for underused settings, using novel strategies, support by institutions and funding agencies for translation, and the design of interventions with translation in mind.

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