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Achieving healthy weight in African-American communities: research perspectives and priorities.

Obesity research

Adult, African Americans, Behavior Therapy, Child, Female, Health Behavior, ethnology, Humans, Life Style, Male, National Institutes of Health (U.S.), trends, Obesity, prevention & control, therapy, Program Development, Research, economics, organization & administration, Risk Factors, Societies, Medical, United States

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      The longstanding high burden of obesity in African-American women and the more recent, steeper than average rise in obesity prevalence among African-American children 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 implementing the obesity research agenda by investigators who have both social and cultural grounding in African-American life experiences and obesity-related scientific expertise. 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 relevance of published research relevant to obesity prevention and treatment in African-American adults or children. Fifteen recommended research priorities are presented in five categories adapted from the NHLBI Think Tank proceedings: health effects, social and environmental context, prevention and treatment, research methods, and research training and funding. These recommendations from an African-American perspective build on and reinforce certain aspects of the NHLBI and overall NIH research agendas by providing more specific rationale and directions on areas for enhancement in the type of research being done or in the conceptualization and implementation of that research.

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