You are here

Nutrition and Weight Status

Find evidence-based information and recommendations related to Nutrition and Weight Status.

Strength of Evidence Topic Area Publication Date Resource Type
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Obesity Prevention and Control: Behavioral Interventions to Reduce Screen Time

Community Preventive Services Task Force
2013 Systematic Review
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Obesity Prevention and Control: Technology-Supported Multicomponent Coaching or Counseling Interventions to Maintain Weight Loss. (Community Guide Recommendations)

Community Preventive Services Task Force
2013 Systematic Review
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Effectiveness of Primary Care—Relevant Treatments for Obesity in Adults:

USPSTF
2011 Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Cohort Study, Case-Control Study, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

USDA/CNPP, HHS/OASH
2010 Systematic Review, Non-Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Cohort Study, Case-Control Study, Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Effectiveness of Weight Management Interventions in Children: A Targeted Systematic Review for the USPSTF

USPSTF
2010 Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Expert Opinion
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Recommendations for worksite-based interventions to improve workers' health. (Community Guide Recommendation)

Community Preventive Services Task Force
2010 Systematic Review
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
A recommendation to improve employee weight status through worksite health promotion programs targeting nutrition, physical activity, or both. (Community Guide Recommendation)

Community Preventive Services Task Force
2009 Systematic Review
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Deficiency Anemia in Childhood and Pregnancy: Update of the 1996 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Review

USPSTF
2006 Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Cohort Study, Case-Control Study, Expert Opinion
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Behavioral Counseling in Primary Care To Promote a Healthy Diet: Recommendations and Rationale

USPSTF
2003 Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Case-Control Study, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: The Evidence Report

NIH/NHLBI
1998 Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion
3 out of 4
3 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Accelerating Progess in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation

IOM
2012 Non-Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Cohort Study, Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion
3 out of 4
3 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
School Health Guidelines To Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

CDC/MMWR
2011 Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Cohort Study, Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study, Expert Opinion
3 out of 4
3 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Strategies To Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases: The CDC Guide to Strategies To Increase the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables

CDC/NCCDPHP
2011 Non-Systematic Review, Experimental Study, Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion
3 out of 4
3 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Strategies To Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States

National Academy of Sciences
2010 Non-Systematic Review, Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion
3 out of 4
3 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier Youth

National Academy of Sciences
2007 Non-Systematic Review, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion
3 out of 4
3 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients)

National Academy of Sciences
2005 Non-Systematic Review
3 out of 4
3 out of 4
Nutrition and Weight Status
Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance

IOM
2005 Non-Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental Study, Cohort Study, Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study, Field-Based Summary or Case Study, Expert Opinion

Clinical Recommendations

The following clinical recommendations come from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Behavioral Counseling in Primary Care to Promote a Healthy Diet

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends intensive behavioral dietary counseling for adult patients with hyperlipidemia and other known risk factors for cardiovascular and diet-related chronic disease. Intensive counseling can be delive

Screening for Iron Deficiency Anemia—Including Iron Supplementation for Children and Pregnant Women

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends routine iron supplementation for asymptomatic children aged 6 to 12 months who are at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia.

Screening for Obesity in Adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians screen all adult patients for obesity and offer intensive counseling and behavioral interventions to promote sustained weight loss for obese adults.

Screening for Obesity in Children and Adolescents

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians screen children aged 6 years and older for obesity and offer them or refer them to comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions to promote improvement in weight status.
Back to Top

Consumer Information

The following consumer resources are from healthfinder.gov.

Snacks give kids important nutrients and help control hunger between meals. Get ideas for healthy snacks your kids will enjoy.
Talking with a friend or family member about losing weight can be hard. If you want to help a loved one reach a healthy weight, these tips can help you get the conversation started.
Use this list the next time you go food shopping to help you choose heart healthy foods.
Take steps today to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Your body needs the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to stay healthy.
To stay at a healthy weight, balance the calories you eat with the calories you burn (use up). If you need to lose weight, start by setting small goals.
Get enough calcium every day to keep your bones strong. Calcium can help prevent osteoporosis (bone loss).
Eat healthy, stay active, and see your doctor or midwife regularly.
Help your child stay at a healthy weight by balancing what your child eats with physical activity.
You can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by eating healthy and staying active.
Use these tips to help reduce the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet. Most people eat much more sodium than they need.
Use this list the next time you go food shopping to help you choose foods low in sodium (salt). Most people eat much more sodium than they need.
Sometimes a family member or friend could use a little encouragement to make a healthy change. Use these tips to start a conversation about eating healthy.
Use this list the next time you go food shopping to help you choose foods high in calcium.
Use these tips to choose foods that will help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Back to Top

Evidence-Based Resources Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do the ratings mean?
All of the resources in this tool are based on intervention evaluations or studies that have evidence of effectiveness, feasibility, reach, sustainability, and transferability. The ratings indicate how strong the evidence is.

4 stars 
4 out of 4
These resources are based on rigorous evidence. Resources with this rating include systematic reviews of published intervention evaluations or studies that have evidence of effectiveness, feasibility, reach, sustainability, and transferability.

Examples: 

  • Recommendations of the Community Preventive Services Task Force
  • Recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
  • Systematic reviews published in peer-reviewed journals

3 Stars 
3 out of 4

These resources are based on strong evidence. Resources with this rating include non-systematic reviews of published intervention evaluations or studies that have evidence of effectiveness, feasibility, reach, sustainability, and transferability.

Examples: 

  • Non-systematic reviews published by the Federal Government 
  • Non-systematic reviews published in peer-reviewed journals

2 Stars 
2 out of 4
These resources are based on moderate evidence. Resources with this rating include intervention evaluations or studies with peer review that have evidence of effectiveness, feasibility, reach, sustainability, and transferability.

Examples: 

  • Journal articles of individual studies
  • Published intervention research
  • Published pilot studies

1 Star 
1 out of 4
These resources are based on weak evidence. Resources with this rating include intervention evaluations or studies without peer review that have evidence of effectiveness, feasibility, reach, sustainability, and transferability.

Examples: 

  • Unpublished intervention research
  • Unpublished pilot studies
  • Unpublished case studies
  • Unpublished field-based summaries

What are the differences between the ratings?
4 vs. 3: A rating of 4 requires a formal, comprehensive, and systematic review of all relevant literature whereas a rating of 3 only requires an informal, non-comprehensive, non-systematic review of some but not all relevant literature.

3 vs. 2: A rating of 3 requires a review of multiple evaluations or studies whereas a rating of 2 only requires one evaluation or study.

2 vs. 1: A rating of 2 requires peer review whereas a rating of 1 does not require peer review.

What criteria were used to identify these resources?
Each of the selected evidence-based resources has been rated and classified according to the criteria in the rating system. These criteria include:

  • Is it a formal, comprehensive, systematic review?
  • Was it peer reviewed and published?
  • Does it include multiple evaluations or studies? 

The rating system does not measure all dimensions of quality. Some other measures that are not included in the rating system are:

  • Statistical significance
  • Effect size (e.g., magnitude of effect)
  • Meaningfulness of effect
  • Additional effect over control
  • Study design (e.g., sample size, power, internal validity, external validity, generalizability, potential biases, and potential confounders)

Can you define the types of resources displayed?
Systematic Review: A systematic review is a critical assessment and evaluation of all research studies that address a particular issue. Researchers use an organized method of locating, assembling, and evaluating a body of literature on a particular topic using a set of specific criteria. A systematic review typically includes a description of the findings of the collection of research studies. The systematic review may or may not include a quantitative pooling of data, called a meta-analysis. 

Nonsystematic Review: A non-systematic review is a critical assessment and evaluation of some but not all research studies that address a particular issue. Researchers do not use an organized method of locating, assembling, and evaluating a body of literature on a particular topic, possibly using a set of specific criteria. A non-systematic review typically includes a description of the findings of the collection of research studies. The non-systematic review may or may not include a quantitative pooling of data, called a meta-analysis. 

Randomized Control Trial: A randomized control trial is a controlled clinical trial that randomly (by chance) assigns participants to two or more groups. There are various methods to randomize study participants to their groups. 

Cohort Study: A cohort study is a clinical research study in which people who presently have a certain condition or receive a particular treatment are followed over time and compared with another group of people who are not affected by the condition. 

Cross-Sectional or Prevalence Study: A cross-sectional or prevalence study is a study that examines how often or how frequently a disease or condition occurs in a group of people. Prevalence is calculated by dividing the number of people who have the disease or condition by the total number of people in the group. 

Case-Control Study: A case-control study identifies all incident cases that develop the outcome of interest and compares their exposure history with the exposure history of controls sampled at random from everyone within the cohort who is still at risk for developing the outcome of interest. 

Expert Opinion: The opinion of someone widely recognized as a reliable source of knowledge, technique, or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain.

Pilot Study: A pilot study is a small-scale experiment or set of observations undertaken to decide how and whether to launch a full-scale project. 

Experimental Study: An experimental study is a type of evaluation that seeks to determine whether a program or intervention had the intended causal effect on program participants.

Practice-based example: A practice-based example is an original investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge partly by means of practice and the outcomes of that practice.

Peer-Reviewed: A publication that contains original articles that have been written by scientists and evaluated for technical and scientific quality and correctness by other experts in the same field. 

What are the Leading Health Indicators (LHIs)?
Healthy People 2020 provides a comprehensive set of 10-year national goals and objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 is composed of more than 1,200 objectives across 42 Topic Areas. 

A smaller set of Healthy People 2020 objectives, called Leading Health Indicators, has been selected to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them. 

The 12 Leading Health Indicator topics are:

  • Access to Health Services
  • Clinical Preventive Services
  • Environmental Quality
  • Injury and Violence
  • Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
  • Oral Health
  • Reproductive and Sexual Health
  • Social Determinants
  • Substance Abuse
  • Tobacco

For more information, visit: Leading Health Indicators

What are some search tips for using the evidence-based resources tool?

  • The shading of the check boxes will show you what criteria can be searched. You might want to begin with a broad search first. You can always narrow your results further using the Search Criteria sidebar on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Be sure to reset the search form before starting a new search. A link is provided at the top of the search results.
  • When filling out your search, be sure to scroll through all the choices before clicking on the Search button.
  • A quick way to change your search is to stay on the results page and use the Search Criteria sidebar. Your search results will be filtered accordingly.

Why can’t I search the database for some Topic Areas and other categories of information?
Topic Areas are dimmed in the dropdown menus to indicate that there are no resources available in the database at the time of your search. The same is true for specific search criteria, such as age ranges. We are continually adding evidence-based resources to the database. As resources become available, you will have the opportunity to choose from more Topic Areas, objectives, and search criteria.

Who developed this evidence-based resource tool?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion developed this tool with guidance, input, and support from: 

  • The Healthy People 2020 Federal Interagency Workgroup (FIW) 
  • The FIW’s Implementation Strategies Subgroup
  • The Healthy People 2020 Workgroup Coordinators
  • The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention

Who identified these evidence-based resources?
Subject matter experts at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who comprise the Healthy
People 2020 Workgroup Coordinators for the relevant Healthy People 2020 Topic Area. The list of Healthy People Topic Areas can be found here. The list of Healthy People Workgroup Coordinators can be found here.

Who developed the rating system?
The rating system was: 

  • Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Best Practices Workgroup
  • Revised by the Healthy People 2020 Implementation Strategies Subgroup
  • Approved by the Healthy People 2020 Federal Interagency Workgroup

The ratings were developed to identify evidence-based resources and interventions that may be used to achieve targets set forth in Healthy People 2020.  The Healthy People 2020 evidence-based resource tool is managed by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and supported, in part, by funds from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention.