a PSC Research Project
Obesity among US children has risen dramatically in recent decades, and considerable disparities exist by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Research supports the role of the environment in contributing to poor diets, physical inactivity, and obesity and environmental and policy interventions are being widely promoted to combat this epidemic. Bridging the Gap (BTG) is one of the key contributors to this growing body of research. BTG examines the impacts of state, local and district-level policies as well as school and community characteristics and environmental conditions on youth behaviors and weight outcomes and on disparities in them. This solicited proposal continues BTG's work through April, 2015. The full set of BTG activities are described in the proposal. Proposed activities at the University of Michigan include: interpretation of long-term trends in student obesity and related behaviors from Monitoring the Future (MTF); surveys of middle and high school administrators in MTF schools and in a supplementary sample of 600 public schools to enable accurate national trend estimates; analytic support for multilevel analyses by us and our UIC colleagues, and completion of descriptive and multilevel analyses. BTG's purpose is to generate new information and knowledge relevant to childhood and adolescent physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and obesity that will stimulate and inform policy change at various levels (schools, school districts, communities, states, nationally). BTG also helps to assess progress over time. While the greatest challenges to BTG are behind it, one limitation of BTG's research is the somewhat limited self-reported set of healthy eating, physical activity, and other measures available in MTF. This is offset by the advantages of having long-term trend data on these measures among large, nationally representative samples of youth and by BTG's success in obtaining support from other funders for analyses of other national survey data.
|Funding:||Robert Wood Johnson Foundation|
Funding Period: 01/01/2014 to 07/31/2015