Framework for child obesity research

A new framework for childhood obesity research

The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living has developed a new framework to characterize and organize their model of research on childhood obesity. Guided by existing public health models, this framework provides a visual organization of the factors that influence child health.

Excerpted from Perry, et al.

At the center of the framework are the children, adolescents, and specific behaviors that are the foci of our work. The circle most proximal to the children consists of factors most closely related to the behavior of children, including factors that are non-modifiable such as genetic or biological factors, as well as those that can be changed such as personal (cognitive) factors, behavioral factors such as skills and intentions, and family/peer modeling and communications. The second layer in the semi-circle includes those factors that are influential at the school or community levels, such as the food and physical activity environments, community policies and practices, media and marketing, and other cultural influences. The most distal layer includes factors related to children’s behaviors and health at a wider population level, such as statewide or national, including methods of food production, governmental and educational policies, and economic influences. Each of these levels and types of influence are relevant to the problem of childhood obesity.