Research In Brief
Prevention Research Centers
Develop Nutrition Strategies to Combat Childhood Obesity
CDC’s Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) are conducting studies consistent with the goals of Let’s Move, First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to solve childhood obesity announced earlier this month. PRCs work with communities across the nation to test strategies that improve school nutrition, help children increase physical activity, and enable families to make healthy choices.
Here is a snapshot of selected research at PRCs located in California, Ohio, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas. Each center cited is mobilizing communities to address healthy eating—a key element of Let’s Move—in schools, homes, and community locations.
"The Prevention Research Centers are adding to knowledge about how communities can counter childhood obesity," said Eduardo J. Simoes, MD, MSc, MPH, the PRC Program director. "The centers work with local residents to find strategies right for the setting."
For the 2010–2014 research cycle, 37 PRCs form a network of academic researchers, public health agencies, and community members that conducts applied research in disease prevention and control.
Examples of nutrition research in progress include the following:
University of California at Los Angeles PRC
Expand the SNaX curriculum—Students for Nutrition and eXercise (funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities)—to involve parents of Los Angeles middle school children in encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.
Case Western Reserve University PRC
Develop best practices to increase the availability of healthy foods at schools, food stores, community gardens, and community centers in the food deserts of inner-city Cleveland.
Harvard University PRC
Develop a tool kit that guides leaders of after-school programs in Boston and Maine on how to encourage healthy snacking and physical activity among youth participants.
Tulane University PRC
Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables and decrease consumption of high-calorie snack foods among patrons of corner stores in three New Orleans neighborhoods.
Texas A&M Health Science Center PRC
Create strategies that ensure the availability of healthy food in low-income, Texas communities of the Brazos Valley and Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Emory University PRC
Assess the effectiveness of Healthy Homes/Healthy Families, an in-home coaching program to improve families’ eating and physical activity habits.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences PRC
Expand and strengthen partnerships between families, schools, and community organizations for a combined approach to addressing childhood obesity in the Mississippi Delta region of Arkansas.
For the PRCs’ contact information, access Center Descriptions at www.cdc.gov/prc.