HICORE — Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education


HICORE Childhood Obesity Research Strategies and Priorities

  • HICORE recognizes the value of community-based participatory methods and the socio-ecologic approach to childhood obesity research. HICORE supports childhood obesity research that includes meaningful engagement of the community at various stages of the research process and recognition of the complex nature of the obesity problem. To maximize outcomes in childhood obesity research efforts relevant to Hawaiʻi, HICORE will serve the following roles.
  • As a leader in research: HICORE will develop and submit collaborative grant proposals selected by the Administrative Team and Advisory Committees. These initiatives will utilize the HICORE program infrastructure and engage the multi-disciplinary membership of HICORE. Proposals that are community-based, participatory, address multi-level interventions or strategies, and that encompass a socio-ecological framework will be prioritized.
  • As a facilitator of research: HICORE will facilitate the formation of collaborative groups to respond to appropriate national and local research RFAs and RFPs.
  • As a facilitator in mentored research: HICORE will create and support mechanisms to mentor junior investigators in childhood obesity research.
  • As a research resource: HICORE will catalog past and present research in childhood obesity relevant to Hawaiʻi.  HICORE will gather and disseminate information on funding opportunities related to childhood obesity.
  • As a means to disseminate research:  HICORE will assist in the timely dissemination of research findings related to childhood obesity to the community.

HICORE Priority Areas of Research

1. Primary and secondary prevention of childhood obesity 

  1. Innovative and sustainable community-based programs developed, delivered and maintained by community-based organizations 
  2. Population-based efforts in childhood obesity relevant for Hawaii’s multi-ethnic population  
  3. Optimal provider-based approaches and resources for Hawaii’s multi-ethnic population 
  4. The effect of policy changes in child environments (ex: schools), family environments (ex: churches), social environments (ex: supermarkets), and work environments.

2. Healthcare and health services research related to childhood obesity and nutrition 

  1. Cost-reimbursement policies that encourage healthy lifestyles (PAN Plan) 
  2. Culturally appropriate and effective strategies for engaging diverse children and families in obesity prevention and intervention services (NICHQ) 
  3. Research in practice-based setting through pediatric practice-based research networks (NICHQ) 
  4. Relationship between provider training and outcomes 
  5. Establishment of a practice-based research network in Hawaiʻi as a means to most efficiently and effectively collect data from practice-based settings.

3. Important gaps in evidence about childhood and adolescent obesity as it relates to children and families in Hawaiʻi

  1. Relationship between stress, childhood obesity and chronic disease risk  
  2. Impact of non-health related factors on metabolic risk (e.g., housing, transportation) 
  3. Differences in risk factors in Asians and Pacific Islanders compared to Whites/Blacks/Hispanics 
  4. Differences in body composition in our multi-ethnic population and how these differences affect metabolic risk 
  5. Relationship between pre-conception and prenatal factors, childhood obesity and metabolic changes 
  6. Relationship between cultural beliefs and practices and childhood obesity and chronic disease risk (e.g., child rearing, health beliefs, and commonly eaten foods)