Fitwits: preparing residency-based physicians to discuss childhood obesity with preteens

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2013 Dec;52(12):1107-17. doi: 10.1177/0009922813492012. Epub 2013 Jun 28.


Objective: To evaluate the Fitwits MD office tool and games for obesity discussions with 9- to 12-year-olds.

Methods: A nonrandomized intervention study using pre- and posttest assessments in 2 residency programs compared 31 control group and 55 intervention physicians (34 previously trained, 21 newly trained to use Fitwits). Surveys addressed comfort and competence regarding: obesity prevention and treatment, nutrition, exercise, portion size, body mass index (BMI), and the term "obesity." We surveyed all groups at baseline and 5 months (post 1) and new trainees 3 months later (post 2).

Results: In post 1, prior trainees reported significantly increased comfort and competence for discussing obesity prevention, portion size, BMI, and "obesity." In post 2, new trainees reported significantly increased comfort and competence discussing obesity prevention and treatment, portion size, and BMI.

Conclusions: Experience using Fitwits improved residency-based physician comfort and competence in obesity prevention and treatment, portion size, BMI, and "obesity" discussions with preadolescents.

Keywords: body mass index; childhood obesity; competence; health literacy; portion size; tools.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clinical Competence
  • Directive Counseling / methods*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Family Practice / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control
  • Pediatric Obesity / therapy*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires