NIFA and its Land-Grant System partners, with their existing infrastructure and networks, are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the power of their three-part mission in research, education, and extension to bring a holistic approach to solving the multifaceted obesity problem.
The obesity prevention projects include: identifying nutritional needs; developing new foods to help achieve caloric balance; providing nutrition education; conducting behavioral research; and planning, conducting, and evaluating dietary interventions.
From 2011-2012 the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that 69% of adults 20 years and older were overweight or obese. The percentage of children and adolescents (ages 2-19) were 12.1-18.4% obese from 2009-2010. Notable differences occur among racial, ethnic, and economically disadvantaged groups. Obesity is the result of an imbalance of food intake and the energy used. It is influenced by heredity and one's environment. Many complex factors affect obesity. These include: genetics, physiology, psychology, sociology, economics, environment, community, food production, interventions, and education. When food was scarce and energy needs for physical activity high, consumer demand was overshadowed by the limits of the food supply. Now the food supply is abundant, and levels of physical activity are decreasing for most Americans. Concerns about obesity will have a major influence on agriculture, food, and community systems of the future.
Examples of NIFA Obesity Prevention and Healthy Weight Programs include:
- Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area
- Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE)