What is HALF?

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

The HALF project resources were designed that support the implementation of early obesity prevention (infancy through age 5) at the point of primary care by leveraging parent focus groups and the latest evidence. Resources include an implementation guide, an app, and web-based patient engagement tools for providers  to utilize on their websites.


The AAP spoke with over 200 parents of children up to 5 years old across the nation, to explore parents' attitudes, needs and experiences related to messaging for healthy nutrition and active living. Simultaneously, the HALF Editorial Board, comprised of experts in pediatric primary care, obesity, early childhood, strength-based approaches and psychology, combed through the scientific evidence to identify a series of desired behaviors that can foster healthy active living within families and help to mitigate obesity in early childhood. Armed with the qualitative parent data and the evidence-informed desired behavior list, the HALF editorial board, in partnership with a health communication plain language firm, developed parent-friendly content to engage, inform, and motivate parents about healthy active living right from the start. To learn more about the process and research highlights, access the Executive Summary.

What Makes HALF Unique?

This flagship project filled a critical gap in knowledge and resources around early obesity prevention and has been instrumental in supporting providers with tools necessary to improve their early obesity prevention. Additionally, the HALF project is unique because it is:

  • Parent-informed
  • Evidence-based
  • Plain language
  • Strength-based
  • Consistent with Bright Futures, and
  • Age-appropriate


The HALF program was generously supported by the Nestlé Nutrition Institute.

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American Academy of Pediatrics