Pathways to Prevention Workshop

Methods for Evaluating Natural Experiments in Obesity

December 5–6, 2017 in Natcher Conference Center, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

Evidence Review

This evidence review is based on research conducted by Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Center under contract with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report seeks to address the following workshop questions:

  • What population-based data sources have been used in studies of how programs, policies, or built environment changes affect or are associated with obesity prevention and control outcomes?
  • What methods have been used to link different population-based data sources?
  • What obesity measures, dietary and physical behaviors, and other outcomes have been assessed in studies of how programs, policies, or built environment changes affect or are associated with obesity prevention and control?
  • Which experimental and non-experimental methods have been used in studies of how programs, policies, or built environment changes affect or are associated with obesity prevention and control outcomes?
  • What are the risks of bias in studies of how programs, policies, or built environment changes affect or are associated with obesity prevention and control outcomes?
  • What methodological/analytic advances (e.g., data system features, approaches to linking data sources, or analytic methods) would help to strengthen efforts to estimate the effect of programs, policies, or built environment changes on obesity prevention and control?

The information in this report is intended to help health researchers and health care decision-makers–patients and clinicians, health system leaders, and policymakers, among others–make well-informed decisions and thereby improve the quality of future research and health care services.

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