National Academies Press: OpenBook

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity (2009)

Chapter: Appendix C: Methodology

« Previous: Appendix B: Toolkits and Related Resources
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×

C
Methodology

The committee was convened to develop a set of recommended childhood obesity prevention practices for local governments. In tackling the committee’s charge, a set of over 600 articles from peer-reviewed published literature and reports from organizations relevant to local governments was identified. The focus of the literature review was to identify potential childhood obesity prevention actions for consideration by the committee, retrieve review articles and seminal articles on the evidence available on potential actions, and find criteria and tools that would be useful in making determinations on the most promising actions.

Scopus and the Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) online database were primarily used to search the literature, supplemented by EMBASE, PsycINFO, and Medline. Scopus is a multidisciplinary research tool indexing more than 15,000 peer-reviewed journals from 4,000 publishers. Subject areas covered by Scopus include chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, life and health sciences, social sciences, psychology, economics, biological, agricultural and environmental sciences, and general sciences. The TRIS database is the world’s largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation information. TRIS is produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board at the National Academy of Sciences. EMBASE (Excerpta Medica) is a major biomedical and pharmaceutical database containing more than 9 million records from over 4,000 journals. This 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

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×

medicine, and biomedical engineering/instrumentation. PsycINFO is a database of psychological literature and 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. Medline is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database, 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.

The initial search strategy paired the terms obesity and overweight with terms related to food access (neighborhoods, supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, breastfeeding, menu labeling, after-school programs, youth programs, community gardens, federal food programs), and terms related to physical activity, including topics concerning the built environment (recreation, parks, playgrounds, planning, sprawl, zoning, walkability, paths, trails) and transportation (sidewalks, roads, traffic patterns, safety, complete streets).

A scan also was conducted to identify recommended childhood obesity prevention actions that have been undertaken in the last ten years by organizations that work with local governments. These organizations included the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Leadership for Healthy Communities, International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National League of Cities, National Association of Counties (NACo), Local Government Commission, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), Prevention Institute, U.S Conference of Mayors, and National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO). These organizations have all published reports and/or toolkits that discuss what local governments can do to prevent childhood obesity. The committee also reviewed several sets of criteria and tools developed by others that could be relevant to the committee’s task of making determinations on the most promising actions. (A list of these resources can be found in Appendix B.)

In addition, the committee invited presentations from experts on the role of local government in childhood obesity prevention (see Appendix F).

Based on these searches and presentations, a broad spectrum of action steps and the research on them was compiled. These actions clustered around 15 distinct strategies.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×

Informed by these efforts, the committee developed criteria for consideration as it reviewed specific strategies and action steps for whether they had the potential to make a positive difference in healthy eating or physical activity. The committee’s criteria were that the strategies and actions must be

  • Within the jurisdiction of local governments;

  • Likely to affect children directly;

  • Targeted to changing the food or physical activity environments of children outside the school walls and the school day (in accordance with the committee’s charge);

  • Actionable based on the experience of local governments or knowledgeable sources that work with local governments; and

  • Likely to make positive contributions to the achievement of healthy eating and/or optimum physical activity based on research evidence or, where such evidence is lacking or limited, have a logical connection with the achievement of healthier eating or increased physical activity.

Using the available evidence, the committee took into account the following characteristics of the strategies and actions: their evidence of effectiveness and effect size; outcomes and externalities; potential reach, impact, and cost; and feasibility. The committee made a final assessment and determination of its recommended actions (58 in all) using a nominal voting procedure. Lastly, the committee chose 12 action steps it believes have the most promising potential to make a difference, based on consideration of the criteria described above and the results of the nominal voting.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×
Page 99
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×
Page 100
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×
Page 101
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Methodology." Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12674.
×
Page 102
Next: Appendix D: Assessing the Evidence for Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Steps »
Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $40.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today's generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even the most positive efforts can be undermined by local environments that are poorly suited to supporting healthy behaviors. For example, many communities lack ready sources of healthy food choices, such as supermarkets and grocery stores. Or they may not provide safe places for children to walk or play. In such communities, even the most motivated child or adolescent may find it difficult to act in healthy ways. Local governments--with jurisdiction over many aspects of land use, food marketing, community planning, transportation, health and nutrition programs, and other community issues--are ideally positioned to promote behaviors that will help children and adolescents reach and maintain healthy weights.

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity presents a number of recommendations that touch on the vital role of government actions on all levels--federal, state, and local--in childhood obesity prevention. The book offers healthy eating and physical activity strategies for local governments to consider, making it an excellent resource for mayors, managers, commissioners, council members, county board members, and administrators.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!