Pediatric Obesity Resources

For Clinicians:

Pediatric Obesity Algorithm®

The Pediatric Obesity Algorithm was developed by practicing pediatricians and clinicians who treat obesity in infants, children, and adolescents. It combines scientific evidence, medical literature, and clinical experience into one document to educate clinicians and help them implement evidence-based practices. Clinicians can use the Pediatric Obesity Algorithm as a resource when making treatment recommendations or when referring their patients to childhood obesity specialists.

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Obesity Algorithm®

The Obesity Algorithm® is a clinical tool to help health care providers both understand the complexity of the disease of obesity and implement effective, evidence-based obesity treatment strategies with their patients.

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AAP's Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight

The Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight serves as a translational engine for pediatric obesity prevention, assessment, management, and treatment, and moves policy and research from theory into practice in American healthcare, communities, and homes.

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Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project

CORD (Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration) project is a CDC-funded project to look at different community-based levels of intervention in Texas, Massachusetts, and California. Provides references and outcomes discussions from the studies.

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Team Nutrition

USDA resource for wellness advocacy in schools and resources for families.

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Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition

The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition has developed several tools intended to provide primary care physicians with practical guidance on the approach to the child with obesity.

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Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity has great pediatric information, sensitive pictures, guidelines for media, etc. In addition, there are full text articles available for any manuscripts that the Center's researchers produce, which is very helpful for those without access to an academic library.

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Parenting at Mealtime and Playtime Learning Collaborative

The Parenting at Mealtime and Playtime (PMP) Learning Collaborative offers resources to pediatric practices to help counsel families of infants and young children (ages birth to 5 years) about good nutrition and positive parent-child interactions during mealtime and playtime. This quality improvement program provides tools for physicians to enhance prevention counseling strategies, become adept at assessing “risk,” and intervene at the earliest possible stage before a child develops overweight or obesity.

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CHAMPS Overweight and Obesity Treatment and Prevention Resources

Site provided as a resource for community health centers in western regions with a list of provider and family resources for obesity treatment and prevention.

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Healthy Active Living for Families

The Healthy Active Living for Families (HALF): Right from the Start program is a project developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to address early childhood obesity prevention that integrates the parent perspective and evidence-informed pediatric health guidance.

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National Institutes of Health We Can!® Campaign

Resource for providers with templates for talking with patients about obesity and prevention, as well as handouts, posters, and other resources.

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Childhood Overweight Fact Sheet

The Obesity Society’s fact sheet on obesity in pediatrics.

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ChopChop for Doctors

ChopChop is a quarterly cooking magazine and website for kids and their families. The print edition is given out by doctors to children and their parents as part of pediatric visits to promote healthy eating and cooking together. Available in English and Spanish.

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The Dr. Yum Project

In response to the growing rates of childhood obesity, pediatrician Nimali Fernando MD, MPH, started doctoryum.org in 2011 to teach her patients and her families about the benefits of healthy eating. What started out as a recipe and parenting site grew to a bigger project of teaching a healthy lifestyle to the greater community. In 2012, The Dr. Yum Project, a 501 (c)3 organization, was born.

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Focus on a Fitter Future: A Survival Guide for Planning, Building, and Sustaining a Pediatric Obesity Program

Provided by the Children’s Hospital Association as a template for developing an obesity program.

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Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

The provider page of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is a great resource for a wide range of obesity interventions with provider and patient resources.

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Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity: Data, Trends, and Maps

Keep up to date with nutrition, physical activity, and obesity data. CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) has made important updates to the Data, Trends and Maps database.

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Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Voices for Healthy Kids are working to elevate the importance of strong wellness policies in schools. The #WellnessWins campaign celebrates district wellness success and inspires everyone to create healthier school environments grounded in strong wellness policies. School leaders, community members, and parents can visit WellnessWins.org to download resources, read success stories, and learn how to support and advance school wellness policies.

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For Families:

Obesity Action Coalition: Understanding Obesity in Children

Better understand obesity in children, its causes, and how to measure it. Find resources for combating bullying and childhood obesity stigma.

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Weigh In: Talking to Your Children about Weight + Health

Sponsored by the STOP Obesity Alliance and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, this site provides guidance on talking with children about weight and scenarios to help guide discussions for parents and children.

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HealthyChildren.org

AAP-sponsored website with resources for parents on a wide range of topics, including obesity, healthy eating, and active play.

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Let's Move! Child Care Resources for Parents

Parent resources for use at home or when talking with your child care providers about their programs. Help your family eat healthier, get your kids moving, limit screen time, and get breastfeeding support.

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The Dr. Yum Project

A site founded by a pediatrician, which provides links to recipes, tips for cooking with children, and many more healthy, active living resources.

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My Munch Bug

Pediatric feeding expert with tips for picky eaters and parent coaching.

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We Can!®

National Institutes of Health parent resource for understanding and preventing obesity.

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The Nutrition Source

The Nutrition Source is a leading authority on food and nutrition knowledge, providing science-based guidance for healthy living. It is provided by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.

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Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta provides a comprehensive site for parents on both treatment and prevention of obesity.

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Parenting at Mealtime and Playtime

The Ohio AAP provides resources for both providers and parents in the fight against obesity. The site has links to easy-to-use mobile device applications as well as nutrition and physical activity resources.

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Pediatric Obesity Research Update

Each month, the pediatric committee posts a pediatric-focused obesity research update to help keep you up to date about the latest findings. This month's update was written by Heather Champney, MD, FAAP.

INSIGHT Responsive Parenting Intervention and Infant Feeding Practices: Randomized Controlled Trial

Savage J, et al. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2018; 15:64. View the original article here.

The Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories (INSIGHT) study is an ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of an intervention designed to prevent rapid infant weight gain and childhood obesity among 276 first-born infants.

Participants recruited in labor and delivery and 1-2 weeks after birth are randomized to an intervention group (parenting) or a control group (safety). The parenting intervention messages are related to responsive feeding, division of feeding responsibility, and healthy dietary choices designed for the prevention of obesity that extend from infancy through age 3 years. These materials also contain messages relating to sleep, active social play, and child fussiness/soothing. The control group receives messages focused on the safety of the child’s environment and interaction with parents.

The parenting intervention program is hypothesized to show efficacy in both breast and formula-fed infants as measured by the primary outcome, body mass index (BMI), at age 3 years. Secondary parental and infant behavior outcomes include sleep duration, feed duration, fussing and crying duration, feeding practices and attitudes and parenting sense of competence.

What, when, how, how much, and how often infants are fed have been associated with childhood obesity risk. The objective of this secondary analysis was to examine the effect of a responsive parenting (RP) intervention designed for obesity prevention on parents' infant feeding practices in the first year after birth. Research nurses delivered intervention content at home at infant ages 3-4, 16, 28, and 40 weeks, and at a research center at 1 year. RP feeding guidance advised feeding that was contingent (i.e., feed in response to hunger and satiety signs, alternatives to using food to soothe), and developmentally appropriate (i.e., delaying introduction of solids, age-appropriate portion sizes). Infant feeding practices (i.e., bottle use, introduction of solids, food to soothe) were assessed by phone interviews and online surveys and dietary intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire.

Results show RP mothers were more likely to use structure-based feeding practices including limit-setting (p < 0.05) and consistent feeding routines (p < 0.01) at age 1 year. RP group mothers were less likely to use non-responsive feeding practices such as pressuring their infant to finish the bottle/food (p < 0.001), and using food to soothe (p < 0.01), propping the bottle (p < 0.05) assessed between 4 and 8 months, and putting baby to bed with a bottle at age 1 year (p < 0.05).  The mean conditional weight gain score was lower among infants in the RP group compared with the control group (−0.18; 95% CI, −0.36 to −0.001), reflecting that the RP infants gained weight more slowly than control group infants (0.18; 95% CI, 0.02-0.34); this effect did not differ by feeding mode (predominantly fed breast milk or not). Infants in the RP group also had lower mean weight-for-length percentiles at 1 year than infants in the control group (57.5%; 95% CI, 52.56%-62.37% vs 64.4%; 95% CI, 59.94%-69.26%; P = .04) and were less likely to be overweight at age 1 year (5.5% vs 12.7%; P = .05).

This study concludes an RP intervention is associated with reduced rapid weight gain during the first 6 months after birth and overweight status at age 1 year.  Anticipatory guidance on RP in feeding can prevent the use of food to soothe and promote use of more sensitive, structure-based feeding which could reduce obesity risk by affecting how and when infants are fed during the first year.