September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month


The Problem


August 12, 2013
Nemours and NICHQ Partner to Prevent Childhood Obesity
read >>

July 12, 2013
Community Art Takes On Topic of Community Health
read >>

May 17, 2013
Let’s Go LinCo Takes Healthy Weight Message to Area Schools
read >>

Obesity constitutes a grave threat to the health and well-being of our nation, as rates have risen dramatically over the past decades with particularly strong impact on diverse and disadvantaged communities. The US now has the highest rate of obesity among all developed nations. Unless industry, the public and the government work together to address the issue, three in four Americans will become overweight or obese by 2020.


Map of childhood obesity rates in America from Trust for America's Health "F as in Fat" 2011 Report

Click here to see the full graphic.

What NICHQ is Doing

NICHQ is committed to obesity prevention. We aim to eliminate the obesity epidemic by working with policy makers, clinical improvement professionals, and healthcare professionals to ensure every child has access to high-quality care. Even as early as conception, parents, healthcare providers and leaders can take steps during prenatal care to keep children fit and on track for a healthy future. As a central part of NICHQ's vision, reversing the trend of childhood obesity is an intersection of most of our projects, particularly our work on breastfeeding.

Based on the USPSTF recommendations and the Implementation Guide, NICHQ recommends a 5-point obesity prevention model (B-B-2-1-0) for healthcare providers, parents and advocates:

B: Breastfeeding (read WHO's 10 Facts on Breastfeeding)
B: Body mass index (BMI)
2: Fewer than 2 hours of screen time (no TV in rooms where children sleep)
1: Greater than 1 hour of physical activity a day
0: No surgar-sweetened beverages

This builds on the 5-2-1 message developed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the 5-2-1-0 campaign used by the Maine Youth Overweight Collaborative.

NICHQ recognizes that there is no one validated model but many that work depending on target audience and provider preference. There is no verification that one set of messaging is stronger than another--therefore, we encourage you to adopt a model that suits your community and needs best.

Other Obesity Prevention Messages

5210 Every Day!

Anchor Organization: Let's Go! (Maine)
Message Meaning:
5 or more fruits and vegetables;
2 hours or less of recreational screen time*;
1 hour or more of physical activity;
0 sugary drinks, more water and low fat milk
*Keep TV/Computer out of the bedroom. No screen time under the age of 2.
Website: http://www.letsgo.org

54321 Go!

Anchor Organization: CLOCC (Chicago, IL)
Message Meaning:
≥5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
≥4 servings of water a day
3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
≤2 hours of screen time/day
≥1 hours of physical activity/day
Website: www.clocc.net/partners/54321Go/index.html

521 Almost None

Anchor Organization: Nemours (Delaware)
Message Meaning:
5 servings of fruits and vegetables/day
≤2 hours of screen time/day
≥1 hour of physical activity/day
Almost no sugary beverages
Website: www.nemours.org/service/preventive/nhps/521an.html


Learn More about Obesity

  • Healthy Weight Collaborative Action Kit -- A guide for promoting healthy weight and making change in your community.
  • Childhood Obesity FAQ (PDF) -- NICHQ's CEO and President, Dr. Charlie Homer, answers some of the most commonly asked questions about childhood obesity.
  • Advocacy and Childhood Obesity FAQ (PDF) -- A panel of experts answers some of the most commonly asked questions about advocacy's role in reversing the childhood obesity trend.
  • Childhood Obesity Tools -- NICHQ's childhood obesity resources, including prevention, assessment, family, office tools and much more.
  • Childhood Obesity Action Network -- A free, online national network of healthcare professionals in all 50 states and 5 countries working to eliminate childhood obesity.
  • Be Our Voice -- NICHQ's initiative that seeks to provide healthcare professionals with the tools to become advocates in their communities and use their voice in the fight against childhood obesity.
  • The Implementation Guide -- Guide developed in 2007 that defines 3 key steps to the implementation of Expert Committee Recommendations: Assessment and Prevention, Treatment and Policy
  • State & County Obesity Factsheets -- Get the most recent data regarding childhood overwieght and obesity frequency on a state and county level


CAN DO Playbook - Click to get started

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