Achieving Healthy Weight in African-American Communities: Research Perspectives and Priorities

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Authors : Iweriebor Onoiribholo Bridget, Iweriebor Onoiribholo Bridget


The longstanding high burden of obesity in African- American women and the more recent, steeper than average rise in obesity prevalence among African-American chil- dren constitute a mandate for an increased focus on obesity prevention and treatment research in African-American communities. The African-American Collaborative Obesity Research Network  (AACORN)  was  formed  to  stimulate and  support  greater  participation  in  framing  and  im-plementing  the  obesity  research  agenda  by  investigators who have both social and cultural grounding in African- American life experiences and obesity-related scientific ex- pertise. AACORN’s examination of obesity research agenda issues began in 2003 in conjunction with the Think Tank on Enhancing Obesity Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The assessment was subsequently expanded to take into account the overall NIH strategic plan for obesity research, literature reviews, and descriptions of ongoing studies. In identifying priorities, AACORN members considered the quality, quantity, focus, and contextual rele- vance of published research relevant to obesity prevention and treatment in African-American adults or children. Fifteen rec- ommended research priorities are presented in five categories adapted from the NHLBI Think Tank proceedings: health effects, social and environmental context, prevention and treat- ment, research methods, and research training and funding.

These recommendations from an African-American perspec- tive build on and reinforce certain aspects of the NHLBI and overall NIH research agendas by providing more specific ra- tionale and directions on areas for enhancement in the type of research being done or in the conceptualization and implemen- tation of that research."


Ethnic Groups, Culture, Nutrition, Physical


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