The National Collaborative for Childhood Obesity Research is a group spearheaded by the National Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Catalog of Surveillance Systems is a new product, also sponsored by the USDA. The catalog provides a searchable database of ongoing monitoring systems related to health. It includes both public systems such as the Census of Agriculture and National Vital Statistics System and private ones such as the Nielsen Homescan and InfoUSA.com. In all, 77 systems are represented.
The database can be filtered by keywords related to the level (person to community to policy), scope (local, state, national), key health variables, age groups, ethnicity, research design, and cost to use.
Each system has an individual entry including information on distinctive characteristics, sampling, key variables, costs, whether information is linked to geographical databases or to other surveys, example publications using the data, and other resources.
This is an extremely useful database and can provide a quick point of entry for those interested in assessing what data are available.