A pilot program to identify and reverse childhood obesity in a primary care clinic

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2011 Jul;50(7):630-5. doi: 10.1177/0009922811398389. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


This pilot study is an innovative approach to addressing the issue of childhood obesity that starts with the primary care physician and involves group education with peers. The primary care physician assesses the child's well-being at each interaction, whether for a scheduled well-child visit or for an acute illness. At each office visit the vital signs are taken, including the height, weight, and the calculated body mass index (BMI). The BMI is a tool that helps the provider identify children who are overweight or obese. Using the patient empowerment readiness model, the provider addresses obesity with the patient and the parent to determine if they are ready to implement behavioral changes. During a 10-month period, 68 patients were enrolled in the pilot program. The initial results after the 10 months showed that when the provider identified the issue of obesity and the child was assessed for readiness and integrated in the behavioral modification program the outcome was 63% of the group reduced their BMI. It was also noted that asthma was the most frequent comorbidity in the overweight/obese children. Whereas BMI increased in a matched control group, participants in the pilot program succeeded in reducing BMI.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Growth Charts
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / diagnosis
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Peer Group
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Reference Values
  • Weight Loss