We propose a predoctoral training program, entitled "Maternal-Child Obesity (MCOB) Training" whose focus is maternal and child overweight and obesity. Obesity has been identified as a worldwide epidemic and public health priority. Obesity is a complex health problem with causes ranging from cellular and molecular to community and societal factors. Addressing obesity requires an intensive interdisciplinary approach. The overarching goal of the proposed training grant is to train a new generation of researchers, providing them with an interdisciplinary perspective on this multifactorial disease. The training program takes a life course perspective on the study of obesity, focusing attention on the development of obesity at particularly vulnerable periods. The 25 faculty serving as trainers represent 12 departments in the Schools of Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, Journalism and Mass Communication, and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The training program will benefit from UNC Chapel Hill's strong obesity research program that features a NIH Roadmap-funded Interdisciplinary Obesity Center (IDOC), an NIDDK-funded clinical nutrition research center (CNRC), and other strong research centers such as the CDC-funded Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Center (HPDP) and the Carolina Population Center (CPC). The proposed training program stands out because of its (1) interdisciplinary, life course approach in addressing maternal and child overweight and obesity, (2) focus on environmental factors as well as individual behaviors related to physical activity and diet, and (3) emphasis on integration and translation of basic knowledge and discoveries from nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and epidemiology, to behavioral and environmental approaches to obesity;and (4) outstanding faculty mentors who will serve as role models for excellence in obesity research. Training will consist of specialized courses in obesity and physical activity, strong mentoring in maternal and child obesity research, opportunities to participate in focused and interdisciplinary research and a strong ongoing obesity-related seminar series. Obesity is recognized as a major health problem in the US and globally. There is a dearth of well-trained individuals with doctorates who have a broad-based understanding of obesity along with training in specific social, behavioral, basic science, biomedical and public health fields. Our goal is to begin to train the future generation of scholars for tackling this problem.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
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Raiten, Daniel J
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Public Health
Chapel Hill
United States
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