Obesity Population Risk Tool (OPoRT)

A newly published research paper, authored by our own Dr. Laura Rosella, alongside Odvaldo Espin-GarciaMichael Lebenbaum and Ye Li, explains and validates the development of OPoRT (Obesity Population Risk Tool). This risk tool was developed directly in response to the recent and drastic rise in obesity prevalence. The primary purpose of the tool is to provide better estimates of the present and future obesity burdens within populations. Achieving this kind of reliable, big-picture view of obesity is necessary for any meaningful obesity prevention.


Creation of the Tool and Model

Researchers used the longitudinal National Population Health Survey and sex-specific Generalized Estimating Equations to predict the 10-year risk of obesity among adults 18 and older. After validating, gauging, and calibrating the prediction model, researchers confirmed their findings, and isolated some of obesity’s key predictive factors, which include: baseline body mass index, age, smoking status, living arrangements, education, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and ethnicity.


Implications of the Tool

The OPoRT algorithm is thus a valid method by which most countries’ biostatisticians, public health analysts, and policy makers may crunch routinely collected data, and then receive back an accurate account of who is at risk, and increased risk, for obesity. From these results, prevention efforts can be made that anticipate, and thus mitigate, the negative health outcomes of the next wave of at-risk groups. This is a much stronger position to occupy for two reasons: First, it allows for a prioritization of resources, and second, it realizes a categorically healthier shift towards a prevention-minded (instead of treatment-focused) infrastructure.