The Program

The Healthy Weight Clinic (HWC) is a CDC-recognized Family Healthy Weight Program that delivers intensive Health Behavior Lifestyle Treatment (IHBLT) for children and adolescents with overweight or obesity consistent with AAP guidelines. 

The HWC:

  • is delivered in a clinical setting (primary or tertiary care) for children aged 2-18 with a BMI ≥ 85th percentile
  • consists of individual visits with a multidisciplinary clinical care team, telephone check-ins and group sessions with other families, over 12 months
  • has been successfully deployed in a variety of clinic settings, including federally qualified health centers, in urban, rural, and suburban areas, with diverse patient and family populations, and via in-person and hybrid approaches. 

Download the Flyer

HWC Impact

  • Improved quality of life for patients and families
  • Effective reduction of BMI, parental stress, and binge eating symptoms
  • Can be cost-effective in clinical settings
  • National implementation expected to save $14.6 million in health care costs over years
  • Can be revenue generating for FQHCs and community health centers

Unique Value of the HWC

What is included in the HWC package?

There is an implementation package t ohelp you launch and maintain the HWC in your clinic or in partnership with a clinic in your community. The HWC package includes a suite of resources, training and technical assistance to facilitate implementation & maintenance of the HWC. Highlights include:

  • Key HWC resources: Group visit curriculum, individual visit clinic flow, clinical decision supports, community resource guide templates, tracking/documentation templates, patient education resources in English & Spanish (handouts, goal sheets, education videos, etc.), text and social media messaging library
  • Key strategies to support implementation: training modules, technical assistance, office hours and a structured and dynamic quality improvement learning collaborative (healthcare providers can earn MOC and CME or CEU credits).
  • Key topics addressed via the HWC group curriculum: Healthy foods, creating a healthy home, healthy drinks, portion sizes and healthy options, behaviors and emotions around eating, physical activity, bullying and teasing, feeling good about yourself, sleep and screen time, label reading meal patterns and snacks

HWC Team Members & Roles

HWC Team Member

Key Roles

Providers that can Fulfill Role

Required or Preferred Specialty


HWC Healthcare Provider

  • Medical oversight, comprehensive evaluation, and medical management of patients and tailored behavioral counseling. May participate in or provide additional medical management at group visits. 


Pediatrics or Family Medicine (R)


HWC Nutrition-Focused Provider

  • Provide tailored nutritional assessment and age-appropriate family-centered nutritional and behavioral counseling
  • Provide health education
  • May lead some or all group visits
  • Could lead telephone check-ins, as needed
  • RD
  • Nutritionist 
  • WIC Counselor
  • DPP nutrition educator
  • DPP nutrition educator
  • HWC Healthcare Provider w/nutritional training
  • Registered Dietitian (Pr)
  • Certifications:
  • Pediatric Nutrition (Pr)
  • Obesity and Weight Management (CSOWM)(Pr)



HWC Community-Based Provider

  • Provide health education and adapt to be culturally and regionally relevant content
  • Connect families to community resources to address barriers/needs and facilitate successful behavior change related to goals
  • Help families navigate care
  • Lead some or all group visits 
  • Provide telephone check-ins to keep families engaged in treatment
  • Community Health Worker
  • Promotora
  • Family Advocate
  • Patient Navigator
  • Lay Health Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Medical Assistant




What do you need to implement HWC?

  • A clinic setting with a staff person to act as a champion
  • Buy-in from clinic leadership and relevant community partners
  • A multidisciplinary clinic team, including a medical provider, a staff person or medical provider skilled in nutritional assessment and counseling, and a staff person with ability to connect families to and educate on relevant community resources
  • Willingness to engage as a team in an ongoing learning collaborative and training for the first 12 months of implementation 
  • Operational capacity to schedule individual visits with patients and families specifically for obesity treatment
  • Infrastructure to support in-person or virtual group sessions with multiple children/adolescents and parents (i.e., room to hold session in-person and/or platform to hold virtual sessions)

Interested in bringing the HWC to your community?

Reach out to the Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight to get started.

Developed in partnership by Mass General Hospital (MGH) and the AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight (IHCW), with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics