In the United States, obesity and overweight have risen to an epidemic rate during the past 20 years and are among the most important health challenges of our time. To begin understanding the wide variety of issues relating to the built environment and obesity, the NIEHS released RFA-ES-04-003, Obesity and the Built Environment, in August, 2004. Research proposals were to examine two specific areas related to the built environment and obesity: understanding the role of the built environment in causing/exacerbating obesity and related co-morbidities; and developing, implementing, and evaluating prevention/intervention strategies that influence parameters of the built environment in order to reduce the prevalence of overweight, obesity and co-morbidities. Participating NIH institutes included NCI, NICHD, and OBSSR, and two Centers within the CDC.
Fourteen proposals were selected for funding. Seven projects with up to five years of funding will investigate solutions for alleviating the burden of obesity and overweight in the US, thereby providing insights into treatment mechanisms or developing models for prevention. Seven additional projects with two years of funding will develop and validate built environment measures and methods of data collection. The program includes projects examining longitudinal, cross-sectional and intervention studies in rural, urban and suburban areas. Program funding began in September 2005.
Michael C. Humble, Ph.D.
Tel (919) 316-4621
Fax (919) 541-5064
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-15
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709