Childhood Obesity

NICHQ is committed to childhood obesity prevention. We aim to eliminate the childhood obesity epidemic by working with policy makers, clinical improvement professionals, and healthcare professionals to ensure every child has access to high-quality care through a medical home. 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 neonatal outcomes research, breastfeeding initiative and school-based health centers work.

Based on the USPSTF recommendations and the Implementation Guide, NICHQ recommends a 5-point childhood 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
2: Fewer than 2 hours of screen time (and no TV in rooms where children sleep)
1: Greater than 1 hour of physical activity
0: No sugar 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. Additional obesity prevention messages you may find of interest are below:

Meaning Anchor Organization, Location Web site
5210 Every Day!
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.
Let's Go!
Visit the Web site
54321 Go!
≥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
Chicago, IL
521 Almost None
5 servings of fruits and vegetables/day
≤2 hours of screen time/day
≥1 hour of physical activity/day  
Almost no sugary beverages
BB 210
Body mass index
<2 hours of screen time (and no TV in rooms where children sleep) 
>1 hour of physical activity
0 sugar sweetened beverages

NICHQ Convenes Healthcare Leaders to Address Childhood Obesity

When NICHQ held the first National Congress on Accelerating Improvement in Childhood Obesity in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20, 2006, many of our leaders in healthcare advanced the public discourse on this growing epidemic for the first time by sharing successful practices, research and networking with professionals. Our most recent national congress took place in conjunction with our Annual Forum for Improving Children's Healthcare, held in Atlanta, March 8-11, 2010.

Learn More about Childhood Obesity

  • NICHQ's Obesity Resources--NICHQ has worked with providers, provider groups, hospitals and systems to improve clinical care, worksite environment, and to advocate for environmental change. We do this by offering several tools and resources to those working to reverse the trend of obesity.
  • 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 Listserv--a resource to connect with other healthcare leaders as part of, our childhood obesity advocacy campaign.
  • Be Our Voice Campaign--a Web site 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--developed in 2007 and defines 3 key steps to the implementation of Expert Committee Recommendations: Assessment and Prevention, Treatment and Policy


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