Issue: August 2013
August 02, 2013
1 min read

IOM: Evaluation plan will measure progress of obesity prevention

Issue: August 2013
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In light of recent recognitions of obesity as an epidemic, the IOM Committee on Evaluating Progress of Obesity Prevention Efforts was charged with developing a detailed action plan that would lead to improved interventions and a “blueprint for change.” According to the report released today, the current evaluation efforts lack adequate progress.

“There is a pressing need to act on the problem of obesity, but there are gaps in the certainty of the effectiveness of actions or mixture of actions being implemented across the country,” the committee wrote.

The report highlights an evaluation plan based on the strategies introduced by the IOM report: Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation (APOP).

Their report contains tools, guides and recommendations to consider environmental and policy strategies regarding physical activity, food and beverage, messages delivered by the media, health care and worksite, and school environments.

According to the IOM report, the key components of the newly proposed National Obesity Evaluation Plan are:

  • Identify leadership, infrastructure, resources, priorities and timeline for implementing the plan.
  • Identify current national efforts for evaluation, including indicators, and incorporate them selectively into national monitoring, surveillance and summative evaluation data systems that are responsive to the needs of data users.
  • Propose data and infrastructure to add to existing monitoring and surveillance systems to fill gaps and facilitate community obesity evaluation plans.
  • Propose additional assessment, monitoring, surveillance and summative evaluation activities; new measures and innovative strategies to implement in the future.
  • Outline mechanisms for feedback to data users, assuring accessibility, privacy and cost efficiency.
  • Detail adaptations of the plan at the state level, with further applications at the regional level.

For more information:

Institute of Medicine. 2013; Evaluating obesity prevention efforts: A plan for measuring progress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Disclosure: The researchers did not specify any relevant financial disclosures.