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Accelerating Progress in Reducing Childhood Obesity Disparities: Exploring Best Practices of Positive Outliers


Childhood obesity rates may have plateaued in some U.S. population subgroups, yet overall rates remain high and racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities appear to be widening. Successful strategies and best practices to inform obesity interventions and accelerate progress in reducing disparities in childhood obesity can be found among people who can be categorized as positive outliers, i.e., individuals who have succeeded, where many others have not, in changing their health behaviors, reducing their body mass index, and developing resilience in the context of adverse built and social environments. In this commentary, we discuss the central premise of a positive outlier approach and how successful strategies learned from positive outliers can be generalized and promoted to accelerate progress in childhood obesity.