AAP Childhood Overweight and Obesity
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Week 3: The Critical Role of Health Care Providers in Prevention

The Institute of Medicine Report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention report identified healthcare providers as critical agents in reversing the epidemic of obesity both in the context of the care they provide to their patients and by serving as advocates for healthy communities.
Specific actions recommended by the IOM include:

  • Clinicians include BMI, counseling and behavioral interventions to improve dietary and physical activity behaviors as standards of care.
  • Healthcare providers serve as role models for their patients and provide leadership in their community by advocating for institutional changes to improve physical activity and nutrition environments for their patients.
  • Encourage breastfeeding and promote breastfeeding friendly environments.

The AAP has had longstanding commitment to these action strategies and policy that are consistent with the IOM recommendations. To support implementation of these policies the Academy has created a number of tools. A few are highlighted below!

In your office:

Resources to support pediatricians with prevention, assessment and treatment:

For your patients: To help increase consistent messages about nutrition and physical activity consider using these resources. [GO AHEAD AND MAKE THESE HYPERLINKS]

In your community:

As experts in children’s health, pediatricians are extremely effective community advocates! To help support you in becoming a champion in your community to create healthier environments for your patients the Academy has created a number of resources:

    • Prevention of Obesity Policy Opportunities Tool (www2.aap.org/obesity/matrix_1.html) is a tool that helps showcase the different evidence based policy strategies and resources to create environments that facilitate healthy active living.
    • Be Our Voice (www.nichq.org/advocacy/) is a project of NICHQ in which the AAP was a critical partner designed to help train and foster healthcare professionals as champions for community change. Visit the site to access training resources.


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