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Abstract

Background: The US National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is a collaborative effort among the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the US Department of Agriculture. The Measures Registry, released April 2011, is one of NCCOR’s new research tools.

Methods: To develop the Measures Registry—a searchable online tool of childhood obesity measures—NCCOR conducted a literature review of all articles with relevant measures published between 2004 and 2010. Measures were categorized according to four domains: individual dietary behavior, individual physical activity behavior, food environment, and physical activity environment. Subject matter experts abstracted all articles using a standardized form that included details on validity, reliability, health outcomes, protocols for use and scoring, and other specifics regarding the populations in which the measures were used. Expert panelists and focus groups determined layout design preferences and functionality.

Results: Over 900 measures are included in the Measures Registry (available at www.nccor.org/measures) and about 150 of these measures are available for download at the Registry site. Measures are defined broadly as tools and methodologies to assess individual diet, physical activity, and the environments in which these behaviors occur. Examples of measures in the Registry include questionnaires, instruments, diaries, logs, electronic devices, direct observation of people or environments, protocols, and analytic techniques. The tool will be updated regularly and additional evaluation is planned to optimize use.

Conclusions: The Measures Registry is intended to facilitate access to existing measures in childhood obesity research, identify gaps, and fuel the development and validation of new measures. We will describe the development process and contents of the Registry as well as challenges in ranking the quality of measures related to childhood obesity and harmonizing different measures.

 

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