Grants for Obesity Research

Written by angela ogunjimi
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Grants for Obesity Research
Obesity has been named a research funding priority by government and private grantmakers. (test tubes image by Ruta Saulyte from

Obesity research helps us understand the causes of obesity and the most effective treatment. Researchers view it as a chronic disease that is marked by genetic, metabolic, behavioural, psychological and social factors. An increasing number of people are becoming overweight and obese. The complexity of the obesity issue has prompted more government and private entities to fund more research, particularly for those projects that deal with prevention and understanding obesity's link to specific populations.

Government-Funded Opportunities

The National Institutes of Health, in partnership with many other federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Education, fund dozens of obesity-related research projects each year.

Existing obesity-related research programs that benefit from the funding include:

Diet Composition and Energy Balance Improving Diet and Physical Activity Assessment Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities Social Network Analysis and Health Home and Family Based Approaches for the Prevention or Management of Overweight or Obesity in Early Childhood School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies, Obesogenic Behaviors and Weight Outcomes Obesity Policy Research: Evaluation and Measures Health Disparities in NIDDK Diseases Translational Research for the Prevention and Control of Diabetes and Obesity Community-Based Partnerships for Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control: Research to Inform Policy Impact of Health Communication Strategies on Dietary Behaviors Research on the Economics of Diet, Activity, and Energy Balance Bioengineering Approaches to Energy Balance and Obesity Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Males

Privately Funded Grants

The Obesity Society Grants Program provides pilot grants of up to £16,250 annually to support innovative research ideas related to obesity.

The Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center annually funds promising projects on obesity, weight regulation, metabolic function, and nutrition.

The Aetna Foundation has named obesity one of its priority areas of research funding in its mission to improve health care systems.

The Society of Actuaries funds research on the effect of obesity on morbidity and mortality as part of its mission to study, measure and manage risk.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network to increase knowledge about obesity among blacks and to increase the number of researchers studying this population. In addition, the foundation has issued proposal requests for research on childhood obesity.

Many of the major associations aimed at health conditions in which obesity plays a role have foundations that offer research funding. These include the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Society for Nutrition.

University Research

Numerous universities offer pilot and feasibility programs that provide seed money for investigations into obesity. Some of the institutions offering this funding include the University of Tennessee, the University Hospital of Columbia University, Duke University, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Minnesota.

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