Measure Registry for the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)

Prepared for
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)—a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture—aims to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and application of childhood obesity research. NCCOR hopes to accelerate progress in addressing childhood obesity by maximizing outcomes from research, building the capacity for research and surveillance, creating and supporting the mechanisms and infrastructure needed for research translation and dissemination, and supporting evaluations.

A key priority for NCCOR is promoting the use of common measures and methods across childhood obesity prevention and research. Standard measures are needed to evaluate interventions to prevent childhood obesity, particularly interventions that address policies and environments. Toward this end, an initial goal was the development of a web-based registry of measures related to childhood obesity prevention. The goal of the registry is to create a comprehensive source of measures that a variety of end-users (including researchers and practitioners) can consult when studying or evaluating interventions that address childhood obesity. NCCOR contracted with Mathematica to build a database to support the initial version of the registry, which focused on measures in four domains that cover an important core of completed and ongoing research: (1) physical activity environments and policies, (2) food environments and policies, (3) individual dietary behaviors, and (4) individual physical activity behaviors (including sedentary behaviors).

To identify measures in each of these domains, Mathematica conducted a systematic review of published literature and contacted researchers in the field to obtain information about ongoing or unpublished work (emerging measures). Mathematica and its subcontractor, the University of California-Berkeley’s Center for Weight and Health, and several expert consultants reviewed and abstracted relevant literature to document information about psychometric characteristics (validity and reliability), the populations in which the measure was used, and information about administration or use of the measure. These data were incorporated into a web-based registry available to the general public.