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Introduction

Obesity is a major contributor to serious health conditions in children and adults, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, many cancers, and numerous other diseases and conditions. As rates of obesity have soared in the past three decades, it is clear that increasing the number of people who can achieve and maintain a healthy weight is a critical public health goal.

The NIH supports a broad spectrum of obesity research that reaches across the lifespan. This multifaceted research agenda focuses on illuminating the causes and consequences of obesity, developing and evaluating new prevention and treatment strategies, and determining how to implement and expand promising approaches to reach those who could most benefit. [Cited from the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research (PDF - 717KB)] This Research Highlight on obesity provides a sampling of funded research activities across the NIH, examples of recent scientific advances, as well as a selection of resources from both NIH and federal partners.