The Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) is a thematic research network of the Prevention Research Centers Program. The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) created NOPREN to foster understanding of the effectiveness of policies to prevent childhood obesity through improved access to affordable, healthier foods and beverages in child care, schools, worksite, and other community settings.

The mission of NOPREN is to conduct transdisciplinary practice-based policy research and evaluation along the continuum of policy identification, development, and implementation by:

• Identifying relevant policies that foster or inhibit healthier lifestyles;
• Describing the process of developing and implementing policies;
• Evaluating adopted policy content, intent, and enforcement;
• Evaluating outcomes, co-benefits, and consequences of policies; and
• Translating and disseminating research findings and lessons learned to diverse audiences.

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NOPREN consists of four PRC member centers, one Coordinating Center, many affiliate member centers, working groups, and advisors from DNPAO, other CDC divisions, and the National Institutes of Health.

The purpose of a network approach, as opposed to individual research centers working in isolation, is to collaborate and share expertise and resources in order to strengthen network members’ capacity approaches to measurement and evaluation of policies and share knowledge of different policy environments across the country.

NOPREN members and partners engage community partners and local and/or state health practitioners in policy related research and evaluation activities including the design and implementation of studies and provision of technical assistance. Information from completed research and evaluation is disseminated to a variety of audiences including, but not limited to, other practitioners, community partners, state and local health departments, federal, state, and local policymakers, and advocates.

Prevention Research Centers, designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, constitute a network of academic, community, and public health partners that conducts applied public health research. PRCs create health promotion and disease prevention strategies that work and can bring long-term benefits to communities. PRCs also offer training and technical assistance to the public health community.