The committee reviewed and considered a broad array of information in its work on issues potentially involved in the prevention of obesity and overweight in children and youth. Information sources included the primary research literature in public health, medicine, allied health, psychology, sociology, education, and transportation; reports, position statements, and other resources (e.g., websites) from the federal government, state governments, professional organizations, health advocacy groups, trade organizations, and international health agencies; textbooks and other scientific reviews; federal and state legislation; and news articles.
In order to conduct a thorough review of the medical and scientific literature, the committee, Institute of Medicine (IOM) staff, and outside consultants conducted online bibliographic searches of relevant databases (Box C-1) that included Medline, AGRICOLA, CINAHL, Cochrane Database, EconLit, ERIC, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, EMBASE, TRIS, and LexisNexis. To begin the process of identifying the primary literature in this field, the IOM staff at the beginning of the study conducted general bibliographic searches on topics related to prevention interventions of obesity in children and youth. These references (approximately 1,000 citations) were categorized and annotated by the staff and reference lists of key citations were provided to the committee. After examining the initial search and identifying key indexing terms in each of the databases, a comprehen-
AGRICOLA is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature. Production of these records in electronic form began in 1970, but the database covers materials in all formats, including printed works from the 15th century. The records describe publications and resources encompassing aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines such as agricultural economics, animal and veterinary sciences, earth and environmental sciences, entomology, extension and education, farming and farming systems, fisheries and aquaculture, food and human nutrition, forestry, and plant sciences. AGRICOLA indexes more than 2,000 serials as well as books, pamphlets, conference proceedings, and other resources. This database is updated and maintained by the National Agricultural Library.
CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) is a bibliographic database of citations of the literature related to nursing and allied health professions from 1982 to the present. Over 1,200 English language journals are indexed with online abstracts available for more than 800 of these titles. Some full-text articles are available. The database also indexes health-care books, dissertations in nursing, conference proceedings, standards of professional practice, educational software, and audiovisual media.
Cochrane Database (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews) is a database containing the full text of over 1,600 systematic reviews of the effects of health care. The reviews are highly structured and systematic, with evidence included or excluded on the basis of explicit quality criteria, to minimize bias. Data are often combined statistically (with meta-analysis) to increase the power of the findings of numerous studies, each too small to produce reliable results individually. It is prepared by the Cochrane Collaboration and is now published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (Chichester, UK). These reviews are regularly updated.
EconLit is the American Economic Association’s bibliographic database of economics literature published in the United States and other countries from 1969 to the present. EconLit contains citations and abstracts from more than 500 economics journals. Some full-text articles are available. The database also indexes books, book chapters, book reviews, dissertations, essays, and working papers. The database covers subjects including accounting, consumer economics, monetary policy, labor, marketing, demographics, modeling, economic theory, and planning. EconLit contains over 350,000 records and is updated monthly.
EMBASE (Excerpta Medica) database is a major biomedical and pharmaceutical containing more than 9 million records from 1974 to the present from over 4,000 journals; approximately 450,000 records are added annually. Over 80 percent of recent records contain full author abstracts. This bibliographic database indexes international journals in the following fields: drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine, and biomedical engineering/instrumentation. EMBASE is produced by Elsevier Science.
ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) is a national education database containing nearly 100,000 citations and abstracts published from 1993 to the
present. ERIC contains over one million citations of research documents, journal articles, technical reports, program descriptions and evaluations, and curricular materials in the field of education. ERIC is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.
LexisNexis provides access to full-text information from over 5,600 sources, including national and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, international news, and non-English language sources; U.S. federal and state case law, codes, regulations, legal news, law reviews, and international legal information; and business news journals, company financial information, Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, and industry and market news. It is produced by Reed Elsevier, Inc.
MEDLINE is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s premier bibliographic database containing citations from the mid-1960s to the present, and covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health-care system, and the preclinical sciences. PubMed provides online access to over 12 million MEDLINE citations. MEDLINE contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from more than 4,600 biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 other countries. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full-text articles and other related resources. This database can be accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed.
PsycINFO is a bibliographic database of psychological literature with journal coverage from the 1800s to the present and book coverage from 1987 to the present. It contains more than 1,900,000 records including citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and technical reports, as well as citations to dissertations, all in the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines. Journal coverage includes full-text article links to 42 American Psychological Association journals including peer-reviewed international journals. PsycINFO is produced by the American Psychological Association.
Sociological Abstracts indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences from 1963 to the present. This bibliographic database contains citations (from 1963) and abstracts (only after 1974) of journal articles, dissertations, conference reports, books, book chapters, and reviews of books, films, and software. Approximately 1,700 journals and 900 other serials published in the United States and other countries in over 30 languages are screened yearly and added to the database bi-monthly. The Sociological Abstracts database contained approximately 600,000 records in 2003. A limited number of full-text references are available. Sociological Abstracts is prepared by Cambridge Scientific Abstracts.
TRIS (Transportation Research Information Services) is a bibliographic database on transportation information published from 1970 to the present. The database contains more than 535,000 records and includes journal articles, government reports, technical reports, books, conference proceedings and ongoing research. Major subjects include aviation, highways, maritime, railroads, and transit; design and construction; environmental issues; finance; human factors; materials; operations; planning; transportation and law enforcement; and safety. TRIS is produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board at the National Academies.
sive search strategy was designed in consultation with librarians at the George E. Brown Jr. Library of the National Academies. Search terms incorporated relevant MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms as well as terms from the EMBASE thesaurus. To maximize retrieval, the search strategy incorporated synonymous terms on the topics of obesity, overweight, or body weight; dietary patterns (including breastfeeding); and physical activity (including exercise, recreation, physical fitness, or physical education and training). The searches were limited to English language and targeted to retrieve citations related to infants, children, or youth (less than 18 years of age). The searches were not limited by date of publication. This broad search resulted in over 40,000 citations. Subsequent analysis of the resulting database focused on resources published since 1994 (approximately 19,000 citations).
As the study progressed, additional focused searches were conducted. Topics of these searches included prevention of obesity in adults (primarily meta-analyses and reviews); prevention interventions focused on co-morbidities of obesity in children (i.e., diabetes, hypertension); behaviorally focused interventions; and statistical information on trends in obesity and physical activity. Additional references were identified by reviewing the reference lists found in major review articles, key reports, prominent websites, and relevant textbooks. Committee members, workshop presenters, consultants, and IOM staff also supplied references.
The committee maintained the reference list in a searchable database that was indexed to allow searches by keywords, staff annotations, type of literature (e.g., literature review), or other criteria. Additionally, an Internet-based site was developed to facilitate the committee’s access to subject bibliographies that were developed from the search as well as to full text of some of the key resources. After indexing the citations, subject bibliographies were developed for the committee on topics including definition and measurement of childhood obesity and overweight; correlates and determinants (breastfeeding, dietary patterns, physical activity, television viewing, etc.); economic issues; etiology/epidemiology; ethnology and disparities; prevention interventions (family-based, school-based, community-based, etc.); and prevalence. Bibliographies were updated throughout the study and committee members requested the full text of journal articles and other resources as needed for their information and analysis.