work that would further the committee’s systems approach. At the conclusion of Chapter 10, the committee offers a brief discussion of quantitative systems-science methodologies that could be used to further test and refine the set of recommendations in this report and in turn facilitate future decisions that may be necessary to address this dynamic, complex problem.


In accordance with its charge, the committee drew on approximately 800 prior obesity prevention recommendations to identify critical areas for intervention that are fundamental to accelerating progress against the obesity epidemic. This process involved reviewing the evidence that supports these interventions, evaluating potential interventions according to a set of guiding principles, determining what indicators could be used to assess progress related to these interventions, and using a systems perspective to understand the potential for these actions to influence each other and drive change. The committee identified five critical environments for intervention: physical activity environments, food and beverage environments, message environments, health care and workplace environments, and school environments. These areas serve as the basis for the committee’s five recommendations and respective goals, along with specific strategies and potential actions for implementation, as detailed in Chapters 5 through 9. When reading these next five chapters, it is important to remember that each recommendation, strategy, and potential action has positive potential to accelerate obesity prevention. However, the committee also emphasizes that its recommendations should be viewed together as a system, taking into account the potential for combined impacts (or synergies) and recognizing likely positive and negative interactions and feedback loops.


IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2010. Bridging the evidence gap in obesity prevention: A framework to inform decision making. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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