This application requests support for a scientific workshop focusing on achieving healthy weights in African American communities under PA-10-071. The proposed two-day scientific workshop would engage 80-100 academic researchers and community research partners to achieve the following objectives: 1) assess current knowledge of effective weight control interventions relevant to black communities, examining current evidence across the life course and from multiple disciplinary perspectives~ and 2) develop synthesis recommendations for research, practice, and policy. Participants will include academic scholars and scholars-in- training from public health, nutrition and food studies, exercise science, public policy, community development, marketing, economics, and other fields, as well as community research partners. The rationale for the conference relates to the lack of evidence on effective interventions in African American communities in the face of much higher than average obesity- related risks. However, studies published during the last 10 years, combined with the recent surge in community-based programming in this area, can support a fruitful dialogue and help to refine the focus of future initiatives. This focus directy addresses NIH strategic goals for elimination of racial/ethnic disparities in obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Given the urgency of controlling the obesity epidemic, a timely workshop that will engage researchers, community research partners, and others to extract and synthesize insights from current research and practice is warranted. The 2012 workshop will be the 5th in a successful series of biennial conferences convened under the auspices of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), a national research network that is based at the University of Pennsylvania. AACORN links scholars, researchers and community-based research partners nationally in efforts to increase the quality, quantity, and effective translation of research to address weight issues in African American communities. Workshop outcomes will be disseminated through the internet, academic journals, and other channels.
Obesity prevalence and related risks are higher in African Americans compared to whites, but evidence on effective interventions to address obesity in African American children and adults continues to be lacking. Studies published during the last 10 years, combined with the recent surge in community-based programming in this area, can support a fruitful dialogue to examine which of the tested approaches are promising, what novel approaches are emerging, and what is needed to inform the next phase of research, practice, and policy. This two-day scientific workshop will engage a diverse group of scholars and community partners to deliberate on these issues from a transdisciplinary perspective.