What: The Healthy Weight Clinic (HWC) Pediatric Weight Management Intervention is a program for families with children ages 2 – 18 who have a BMI ≥ 85th percentile, developed by Mass General Hospital (MGH) and the AAP Institute for Childhood Healthy Weight (IHCW), with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The HWC is a longitudinal and multicomponent family healthy weight program/pediatric weight management intervention that consists of individual family visits with a multidisciplinary team (i.e., able to fill the roles of pediatric medical provider, community health worker and nutritionist/dietitian) and group visits with other families.
- An inclusive package is provided to support adoption and integration of the HWC, including an HWC curriculum (with tools for staff and families), implementation guides, and other resources.
Why: In the US, 35% of children ages 2 – 19 have a BMI at or above the 85th percentile for their age and sex.
- Childhood obesity represents a substantial burden on morbidity, quality of life, and healthcare costs (about $14.3 billion in the US) and disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income families.
Evidence: The HWC and its associated curriculum and implementation package are built from a strong evidence base that includes multiple randomized controlled trials:
- This HWC package combines elements from evidence-based pediatric weight management interventions, such as Connect for Health and Clinic and Community Approaches to Healthy Weight, which improved BMI in low-income and racially and ethnically diverse populations.
- BMI improvements were sustained and were still reduced within one year of the program.
- The HWC is aligned with the USPSTF recommendation that children 6 years and older be screened for obesity, and if they have obesity, offered or referred to comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions, such as the HWC.
Cost: The HWC has been shown to be cost-effective for health care centers that have implemented it. Site-specific anticipated costs and the minimum (projected) number of patients needed to maintain the HWC can be provided as additional support.
Future Goal: Our aim is to support the dissemination and implementation of the HWC at multiple sites across the US that are ready to integrate a family healthy weight program/pediatric weight management intervention into their primary care clinics or health center. Simultaneously, we aim to continue to evaluate and refine the provided implementation and technical assistance supports and examine the sustainability and impact of the HWC as it is disseminated.
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American Academy of Pediatrics