Statement of Task
An ad hoc committee of the Institute of Medicine will examine evidence on childhood obesity prevention efforts by local government entities, with a focus on identifying promising practices, and will develop a set of recommended practices for disseminating to local governments broadly. The audience includes mayors; county, city, or township commissioners or other officials; local health departments; local boards of health; city and transportation planners; and other relevant local commissions and public entities. This study will draw from and build on relevant Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports, especially Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance and Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?, as well as secondary sources and seminal primary sources. In carrying out its task the committee will consider the range of childhood obesity prevention efforts that have been considered or implemented by local governments and those that have been evaluated, and from that information will compile a list of promising practices in childhood obesity prevention, noting promising strategies for addressing disparities and disproportionately affected children and youth, identifying other public health benefits, and summarizing successful strategies for sustained funding and financing of obesity prevention initiatives. The committee will develop a succinct report that summarizes the range of local government efforts; identifies and describes rationale for selected promising practices; discusses other relevant public health benefits of these promising practices; and outlines a set of recommendations on priority immediate actions and practices for local governments. As relevant to the task, state government actions may also be considered.