of the Nation (APOP) (IOM, 2012a), rather than on clinical interventions for individuals. The charge to the Committee was further delineated as follows: (1) develop a plan for evaluating national obesity prevention efforts; (2) develop a community-level measurement plan that adds detail and support to the national-level plan; and (3) identify measurement ideas that can determine the specific impact of the Home Box Office (HBO)/IOM campaign The Weight of the Nation (TWOTN). The intended audiences for the plans and measurement ideas in this report are simple: individuals with an interest in obesity prevention. These “evaluation users” include policy makers, government agency staff, nongovernmental organizations at all levels, advocates, local coalitions, researchers and evaluators, businesses, media, and the public.

A note on terminology: within the literature, terms such as assessment, surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation are often used interchangeably or with different meanings that vary among professions, disciplines, and settings. For consistency throughout this report the Committee uses these terms as described in Box S-1. Within this collection of terms, evaluation is widely, and sometimes in this report, used to refer to all four or some combinations of these functions. Additionally, the objects of evaluations can encompass programs, systems, policies, environmental changes, services, products, or any combination of these multifaceted aspects of initiatives. The Committee will refer to these collectively and in their various combinations as interventions.

A Note on Terminology

•   Assessment is an effort to use data on the community or other jurisdiction to characterize the problem, its distribution, and efforts to address it.

•   Monitoring is the tracking of the implementation of interventions* compared to standards of performance.

•   Surveillance is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data tracked over time to detect patterns, disparities, and changes that may be associated with interventions or other causes.

•   Summative Evaluation is the effort to detect changes in output, outcomes, and impacts associated with interventions and to attribute those changes to the interventions.

•   Evaluation refers to all four or various combinations of these functions (assessment, monitoring, surveillance, and summative evaluation).


* In this report, interventions refer to programs, systems, policies, environmental changes, services, products, or any combination of these multifaceted initiatives.

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