The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States has issued a new strategic plan for research into obesity to help encourage scientific investigation into the issue. It hopes that researchers, healthcare professionals, non-profit and community groups and the public will help drive the initiative forward, to face the challenge of this public health problem.
With US obesity-related medical costs totalling around USD 147 billion in 2008, it is hoped that the scheme will lower the overall costs of treatment. The NIH funded research of USD 824 million last year, and hope to progress this even more in 2011.
The strategic plan, developed by the NIH Obesity Research Task Force, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of reducing how much is eaten and undertaking more exercise . The scheme will focus on the use of scientific research to offer practical solutions, and to tailor resources where they are most likely to be of use.
Francis S. Collins, director at NIH, commented “Obesity has many causes and contributing factors. This plan is a bold blueprint that will encourage the research community to examine the epidemic of obesity from diverse perspectives.”
He added “Through the scientific opportunities outlined in the strategic plan, researchers can work together toward the goals of preventing and treating obesity, to help people lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.”

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