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Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research

The purpose of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research is to provide a guide for coordinating obesity research activities across the NIH and for enhancing the development of new research efforts based on identification of areas of greatest scientific opportunity and challenge. The Strategic Plan represents a cohesive, multi-dimensional research agenda for addressing the problem of obesity. It includes short-, intermediate-, and long-term goals for basic, clinical, and population-based obesity research, along with strategies for achieving those goals that likewise range in timeframe. Building on scientific advances from previous NIH-supported efforts, the Strategic Plan seeks to maximize collaboration among the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICs) and to capitalize on their expertise and interest in developing obesity research initiatives.

The Strategic Plan's goals, and strategies for achieving them, are organized into chapters framed upon the following four themes:

  • Research toward preventing and treating obesity through lifestyle modification.
  • Research toward preventing and treating obesity through pharmacologic, surgical, or other medical approaches.
  • Research toward breaking the link between obesity and its associated health conditions.
  • Cross-cutting research topics, including health disparities, technology, fostering of interdisciplinary research teams, investigator training, translational research and education/outreach efforts.

External Input to Inform the Strategic Planning Process and Development of the Plan

Importantly, the planning process was informed by input from experts external to the NIH, through interactions with NIH staff at scientific meetings, through meetings and workshops convened by NIH ICs for the purpose of obtaining research planning advice, and through presentations by the Co-chairs of the Task Force to external scientific and health advocacy organizations. An important advisory group from whom the NIH receives expert input on obesity is the NIDDK Clinical Obesity Research Panel (CORP), which is composed of leading external obesity researchers and clinicians. Additionally, strategies designed to achieve the goals of the Plan, in the form of initiatives, are reviewed and discussed by members of ICs' National Advisory Councils, which are groups of prominent external scientific experts and lay leaders established by law and charter to provide advice to ICs.

In addition to the external advice that the NIH receives through the avenues above, which continues to inform the obesity research planning process, an initial version of the Strategic Plan document itself was circulated in draft form to invite comments from over 70 external individuals, including scientists with expertise in obesity research and leaders of voluntary and professional health advocacy organizations. After receiving input from this effort (from nearly half of those individuals, as well as from others with whom some of the individuals shared the draft), a revised draft was posted on the Internet to invite further scientific and public comment before production of a final version.

The NIH Obesity Research Task Force greatly appreciates the input received on drafts of the Strategic Plan.

To obtain a copy of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research

The Strategic Plan is available in both electronic and print versions.
The Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research report cover
•  Electronic version (PDF): The Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research is presented in PDF format, and can be downloaded from this Web site either as the entire document or in separate sections. The PDF can only be viewed using the free Adobe® Acrobat® Reader software version 5.0 or later. To view PDF documents using common screen readers, download the free Acrobat® Reader with Accessibility features (version 5.0 or later).

Entire Document (PDF - 1.9MB, 95 pages)
Text Only (PDF - 375 KB, 93 pages)
Cover Design (PDF - 1.6MB, 3 pages)
Executive Summary (PDF - 101 KB, 7 pages)

•  Print version: Single copies are available for free (no bulk orders). To obtain a single copy, contact the Weight-control Information Network at:

Weight-control Information Network
1 WIN Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3665 (Please use complete 9-digit ZIP code.)
Phone: (202) 828-1025 or 1-877-946-4627.


Last Modified: 8/19/2004
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