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Battelle Awarded 23M NIH Contract

Posted on Sep 9, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH., 9 September, 2010—Battelle scientists have been involved in multiple research projects to understand the upward trend in childhood obesity in the United States—since the 1970s, the rate of obesity among children and adolescents has roughly tripled. In mid-August, Battelle’s Health and Life Sciences Global Business was awarded a new $23 million contract from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will allow them to study, evaluate and identify aspects of community programs that reduce or enhance the risk of childhood obesity. 

Battelle assembled a team of national experts to design and conduct the study.  As the prime contractor, Battelle will draw upon significant experience in large program evaluation and community health studies, including work for the NIH’s National Children Study, program evaluations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and assessments and evaluations for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Subcontractors for the project include the University of South Carolina, which will provide specific experience in developing and evaluating physical activity interventions to reduce childhood obesity; the University of California, Berkeley, which will provide targeted experience developing and evaluating institutional interventions to reduce childhood obesity; and the University of Kansas, which will provide novel approaches to developing and evaluating community-based programs.

“The need to identify the most promising approaches that communities can use to reduce the obesity epidemic is urgent,” said Dr. Howard Fishbein, Battelle’s Principal Investigator for the study. “This study represents an opportunity for conducting a comprehensive and systematic evaluation of the strategies that communities across the country have initiated to prevent childhood obesity.”

The study’s primary goals are to:

  • Identify characteristics of community programs and policies that help reduce childhood obesity rates to better inform public health practice and policy
  • Identify mediators and moderators of the associations between programs/policies and impacts/outcomes
  • Identify significant interactions between characteristics of policies and programs, including combinations of interventions that are particularly effective
  • Effectively communicate study results, including information on best practices and the most promising program and policy approaches, using multiple media, such as Web-based tools and reports, publications, and conferences

Other secondary goals include: 

  • Providing a platform for study partners (National Institutes of Health [NIH], the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation [RWJF], and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to conduct program-specific evaluations
  • Make study measurement tools and a public data set available for a later use by other investigators
  • Identify future research directions.

About Battelle

As the world’s largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses:  Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. 

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including eight national laboratories for which Battelle has a significant management role on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the United Kingdom.

Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Media Contacts

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or



Media Contacts

Katy Delaney
Director, Media Relations
Office: 1.614.424.7208

T.R. Massey

Senior Media Specialist
Office: 1.614.424.5544