Doctors and Practitioners
Here's what you can do.
You're on the front line.
Check virtually any source you want. Childhood obesity is an “official” CDC-certified epidemic. Here's a recognized fact: If you're a doctor or other medical professional, you serve on the front line of reversing this epidemic.
The Well Child Visit
Medical professionals, particularly during the periodic Well Child Visit, are well-positioned to stop this epidemic in its tracks. This is a health risk, so children should be regularly screened and their Body Mass Index (BMI) determined as a critical vital sign.
Physicians can and should include nutrition and behavioral information during Well Child Visits that will combat childhood obesity. Encouraging mothers and caregivers to only provide water in sippy cups—no sweetened and calorie-rich beverages—for their child's refreshment represents a great addition.
Meaningful Use – EMR/EHR Support
Recording and charting BMI is a requirement to meet meaningful use as established by CMS. You can simultaneously meet meaningful use criteria and identify obesity problems within your patient population by using your electronic health record (EHR). We did! (See the bar graph to the left). Our data show that obesity starts very early in our pediatric population. Fifteen percent of our 2 year-olds are overweight or obese and this increases to 40% by age 5! To stop and reverse this epidemic we must intervene very early — hence the Major Easy 3 program. Use your EHR to record and chart trends to help patients understand their child's health risks and the importance of early intervention. It could well prevent very serious health issues from emerging later in teenage and adult life.
Educate parents and caregivers.
Some stereotypes that overweight babies and infants represent a preferred state still exist. Other parents may be concerned about appearance instead of health. Those myths need to be corrected. For simple aids, please download the Major Easy 3 posters about obesity, the white paper about Childhood Obesity or other materials on this site to help educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of childhood obesity.
As the dangers of childhood obesity become better known, other online resources are being developed by experts to aid pediatricians, physicians and medical professionals in combating this epidemic. A partial list:
- Childhood Obesity
Peer-reviewed articles, cutting-edge research, clinical studies and more in this bi-monthly Journal for weight management and obesity prevention available in print and online.
- We Can! For Health Professionals
Resources for physicians and health professionals to make a difference in a patient's life.
- Let's Move!
Make a clinical commitment to measure BMI and counsel patients about obesity. Become a Let's Move practice.
- Choose My Plate
The USDA's new guide for healthy eating and dietary awareness.
Waiting rooms or easy take-aways, this brochure can inform and remind patients of the Major Easy 3.
Pass along this easy and informative brochure and help other docs know about Major Easy 3.