It is clear to see from the Expert Committee Recommendations (Barlow, et al, 2007) and other references cited within this educational program that the NP can do quite a bit in their primary care settings to prevent pediatric overweight and obesity. These guidelines can be implemented with little time and could become part of the typical well-visit routine for pediatric patients of all ages.


It is our challenge as Nurse Practitioners to lead the way in prevention efforts in our current settings. You have the knowledge and power to affect how patients and their families see their current health, and you can be a change agent for these families as the instigator of healthy lifestyle adaptation at the earliest age possible.

Of course, it is important to engage parents or other primary care givers in your prevention strategies. Within this scope - try to encourage parents and remind them that they are their child's primary role model. As such, the parent would do much in the way of preventing obesity in their child by adopting or continuing healthy lifestyle behaviors of their own. Furthermore, encouraging family inclusive exercise options that engage all members of the family are considered optimal for adoption of healthy activity patterns by parents and children (Floriani & Kennedy, 2007).

Praise parents and families that are already engaging in healthy lifestyle, and counsel those on small changes to make in order to reach a family goal to be healthy.

In addition to encouraging parents and other care providers that they are role models for pediatric patients, you as the health care provider also provide a primary role model for not only the pediatric patient, but also their families. Congratulations to those of you who have adopted healthy lifestyle behaviors and continue to make a positive change for your own health. Those of you who have the knowledge to lead a healthy lifestyle but cannot find the time or energy to do so, I encourage you to make one small change a week toward a healthier you.


Thank you for participating in this program.

It is an honor to be able to offer programs that could potentially impact the health of our nations' children.


Please use the link below to complete the post-test. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact:

Karen Hessler, PhD, FNP-C or (970) 351-2137


Please click here for:



(please be certain to fill out address information for receipt of CE Certificate)



Barlow, S. E., Expert Committee. (Dec, 2007). Expert Committee Recommendations on the Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity. Pediatrics, 120; Suppl 14: S164-192.

Center for Disease Control (2011). Growth Charts. Accessed April 2011 from:

Center for Disease Control (2011). PedNSS Health Indicators. Accessed April 2011 from:

Center for Disease Control. (June, 2010). Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States: Trends 1963-1965 Through 2007-2008. Accessed April 2011 at:

Floriani, V. & Kennedy, C. (Feb. 2007). Promotion of physical activity in primary care for obesity prevention/treatment in children. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 19 (1), 99-103.

Goldfield, G. S., Paluch, R. P., Keniray, K., Hadjiyannakis, S., Lumb, A. B. & Adamo, K. (2006). Effects of breastfeeding on weight changes in family-based pediatric obesity treatment. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 27 (2), 93-97.

Huh SY et al. (2011). Timing of solid food introduction and risk of obesity in preschool-aged children. Pediatrics; 127:e544. (

McKee, M. D., Maher, S. Deen, D. & Blank, A. (2010). Counseling to prevent obesity among preschool children: acceptability of a pilot urban primary care intervention. Annals of Family Medicine, 8 (3), 249-255.