Children Walking With Smartphones

The Gamification of Exercise for Children

Full Story In 2014, the obesity rate for children and teenagers between ages 2 and 19 in the United States increased to 17.2 percent, up from 13.9 percent in 1999. While various organizations and agencies are working to help children lead healthy lifestyles, there has been another trend in recent years that has come into play: gamification.

Kelley Devlin

4 Key Considerations for Family and Community Engagement in Public Health

Full Story As public health professionals, we are tasked with designing, implementing and evaluating programs and policies that are intended to improve population health. A critical part of this work is engaging families in communities we want to reach. This is the best way to try to understand what matters most to them and how to plan culturally sensitive programs and policies that have potential for meaningful impact.

Girls in arms outside

Using Telementoring to Improve Care for Patients With Sickle Cell Disease

Full Story At the outset of every project, we determine how it will relate to our three areas of focus—bridging health and healthcare, improving systems of care, and increasing support for healthy beginnings. Recently, three new projects have touched on these foundations, progressing towards improvements in
systems for children’s health and outcomes for families.

Children At Gym Class

New Obesity Projects Look to Improve Childhood Prevention and Treatment Programs

Full Story NICHQ is working with the Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) on two projects that aim to reduce childhood obesity and improve treatment plans among Medicaid recipients.

Healthy Weight Clinic Guide Resource

A New Primer for PCPs on Starting a Healthy Weight Clinic

Full Story Developed as part of the Mass in Motion Kids Learning Collaborative, NICHQ’s new Healthy Weight Clinic Guide teaches providers how they can develop, implement and maintain community-based pediatric healthy weight clinics. The Healthy Weight Clinic Guide is an opportunity for healthcare providers, families and children to address obesity together and promote healthy living.

Girl Getting Certificate

Healthy Weight Initiative Thrives By Focusing on Healthy Lifestyles, Not Weight

Full Story Through a Healthy Weight Initiative at the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, well over 200 kids have learned about monitoring sleep routines, fruit and veggie intake, screen time, physical activity and sweetened beverages. It’s a focus on healthier lifestyles and better choices, not weight loss, which is helping kids and families to see results.

Community Health Clinic

How to Start a Community Healthy Weight Clinic

Full Story The Holyoke Health Center’s Healthy Weight Clinic is changing lives. In a recent 5-month group session, nearly 50 percent of the participants decreased their BMI. We recently sat down with the center’s director, Vincent Biggs, MD, to get tips for starting and running a healthy weight clinic.

Happy girl eating healthy with family

Six Keys to Success for Addressing Obesity at the Community Level

Full Story It takes primary care providers, public health professionals, leaders of community organizations, schools and more working across traditional professional borders to address obesity at the community level collectively and effectively.

Zufall Health Center

At Zufall Health Center, Quality Improvement Leads to Patient Empowerment

Full Story NICHQ-led collaboratives have helped Zufall Health Center find that small tests of change lead to an improved process for providing patient education and patient empowerment.

BOV Training a New Generation of Advocates

Training a New Generation of Advocates

Full Story The shift to address health topics, like childhood obesity, from multiple angles means doctors entering the field today need additional and new kinds of training to prepare them for the changing healthcare landscape.

Cutting board with salad ingredients

Staff Mirrors Healthy Habits it Teaches Kids for Greater Emphasis

Full Story Fitchburg Community Health Connections of Fitchburg, Mass., is tackling the city’s childhood obesity problem from the inside out, with a workplace wellness program. By inspiring staff members to adopt the healthy eating and exercise habits they teach to patients, the program aims to have a greater influence on the community’s overall health.

Columbus Messaging

Columbus Targets Messaging, Technology and Talk

Full Story One way the Columbus, Ohio Healthy Weight Collaborative team is tackling obesity in their community is by using innovative communication strategies to increase awareness, knowledge, and dialogue around nutrition and physical activity. But the team knows that to make the most effective impact, they need to work with the community.

Obesity Mural

Community Art Takes On Topic of Community Health

Full Story How do you get a community talking about the ways a person’s neighborhood, economic status and cultural traditions can impact obesity? For the Somerville, Mass., team of the Healthy Weight Collaborative, the answer was to paint.

Dr. Robert Schwartz

Reshaping the Obesity Discussion: Motivation Interviewing Technique Offers New Approach to Reducing Resistance to Change

Full Story NICHQ recently sat down with Robert Schwartz, MD, a Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina and a faculty advisor to NICHQ’s Mass in Motion Kids project, to learn more about how motivational interviewing is offering a new tool for healthcare providers in addressing obesity within their communities.

Doctor and Girl Flexing Their Muscles

Weighing in on Primary Care in Yellowstone County

Full Story In 2010, only 35 percent of the obese residents of Yellowstone County, Montana, were counseled about their weight by a health professional. In a County where 73 percent of adults are overweight or obese, “this jumped out at us as a glaring issue in our community and an indication that there was work to be done in the healthcare field,” recalls Tracy Neary, a Montana Healthy Weight Collaborative team member.

Collaborate for Healthy Weight Boston Team

Boston Team Takes STEPS to Health

Full Story In Boston’s neighborhood of Roxbury, 29 percent of adults are obese – a rate that is 8 percent higher than the rest of the city’s population. To close this gap, the Boston team in the Healthy Weight Collaborative chose to focus their efforts on its youngest residents.

Group of people around a table

Healthy Weight Teams Embracing Integration Across Sectors

Full Story The Healthy Weight Learning Collaborative is a quality improvement initiative to promote healthy weight and health equity in communities across the United States. While team members hail from many different types of organizations and bring a variety of experiences and expertise, they share one thing in common: the goal of working across sectors to identify, test, and evaluate evidence-based program and policy changes to prevent and treat obesity and overweight in their communities.

Collaborate for Healthy Weight Iosco team promotes healthy weight at an Easter event.

“Miss Iosco” of Michigan is Helping Kids to Get Fit

Full Story Shelby Fransee, the winner of the local Miss America pageant in Iosco County, Michigan, has been putting her crown to good use. Since winning last October’s contest, Fransee has been giving community talks on the importance of preventing childhood obesity. She also joined the Iosco County Healthy Weight Collaborative team and is helping to promote healthy living choices in northern rural Michigan, a state where approximately one out of every three children is obese.

Two Girls Eating Healthy Snacks

Kids Who Can't Wait to Eat Greens

Full Story What do you get when you mix children, green-thumbed senior citizens, and access to a community garden? Kids who can’t wait to eat fresh vegetables. In Alabama, a state recently ranked as the second most obese in the nation and home to new community gardens, these are exactly the kinds of projects we need.

Rochester Healthy Weight Collaborative team

Make Health Not War in Rochester

Full Story The Rochester team entered the Collaborate for Healthy Weight project with a desire to systematize a way for providers to work with parents and kids with overweight or obesity to develop a healthy weight plan.

Fit-Tastic healthy weight message

Kansas City Healthy Weight Team Focuses on Messaging

Full Story Before the Kansas City Healthy Weight Collaborative team could focus their efforts on young members of the Kansas City population, along with their families and caregivers, they needed to unify their community partner groups with the right messaging.

Dr. Gerri Cannon-Smith

Reflections on Childhood Obesity in Mississippi

Full Story NICHQ has directly contributed to Mississippi’s obesity reversal efforts through Be Our Voice, a national project to mobilize and train healthcare professionals to become advocates for local policy changes in the fight against childhood obesity. Dr. Gerri Cannon-Smith reflects on the state of childhood obesity in Mississippi.

Arkansas Team Offering Low-Cost Remedies to Obesity

Arkansas Team Offering Low-Cost Remedies to Obesity

Full Story From kid-friendly yoga to new recipes, families are learning how to be healthier with the Arkansas Collaborate for Healthy Weight team's low-cost remedies to obesity.

5 2 1 0 Fit Program

LeeFit 5210 Program Targeting Obesity

Full Story The Lee County Healthy Weight Collaborative team is using a multi-sector approach to reach youth and families where they live, study, work, and play to reinforce the importance of healthy eating and active living.


Small Town Collaboration Starts a Movement in Rural Virginia

Full Story In Lee County, Virginia, 42 percent of children aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese, a figure that is well over the national average of 33 percent. To reach the County’s youth in a healthy weight initiative, the Virginia Healthy Weight Collaborative team knew that they would need to meet the kids on their own turf: the schools.

Be Our Voice Phase 1 Video

Be Our Voice Phase 1: Celebrating Our Success (Video)

Full Story The first two years of the Be Our Voice project focused in eight communities in the southern United States most affected by the childhood obesity epidemic. In cooperation with National Partners and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the project sought to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic across the nation by training, supporting, and providing technical assistance to healthcare professionals in becoming advocates for change within their communities.

Kentucky Be Our Voice

Kentucky Be Our Voice Team Continues to Fuel a Statewide Movement

Full Story The Kentucky Be Our Voice team and its trained advocates have become a powerful local force that is affecting state politics and healthcare to promote healthy weight across Kentucky.

Let's Go LinCo Healthy Weight messaging

Managing the Messaging: Let’s Go LinCo!

Full Story As with most of the teams participating in this Collaborative for Healthy Weight initiative, the Washington team’s first step in their fight to bring its obesity numbers down was to unify their message. They wanted it to be the same message from all the partners, and they wanted it to be clear, effective and strong.

Healthy Child Eating Apple

San Diego Team Changing Behaviors One Square Mile at a Time

Full Story The San Diego Healthy Weight Collaborative is centering its work on the town of Chula Vista, Calif., which has an obesity rate of 40 percent. The efforts focus on a local elementary school, primary care clinic, childcare center, and liquor store that are all within walking distance from one another. Learn about the team's progress in changing policy and messaging in all four locations in an effort to see real and lasting change in this concentrated area.

Sarasota County healthy weight collaborative message

Sarasota Team Spring into Action

Full Story The first time parents in Sarasota County received letters telling them that their children were overweight, their anger lit up the phones. Many of the people involved were caught off guard. The school nurses who already calculated BMI regularly as a state requirement, thought delivering the information was a service to parents, not an insult. Many parents saw only an indictment of their parenting. The public health professionals in the community saw that they needed to step up and help figure out how to manage the fallout, and quickly.

Ihuoma Eneli

Fighting Obesity with Local Solutions (Video)

Full Story The Collaborate for Healthy Weight project brings together locals who work in primary care, public health and community organizations. Ten Phase 1 teams across the country have developed collaborative solutions to improve the health of their communities. Learn more about three of their stories.

Stronger Partnerships

Stronger Partnerships, Healthier Futures (Video)

Full Story Collaborate for Healthy Weight is a national initiative where primary care providers, public health professionals and leaders of community-based organizations are working together as never before, using quality improvement methods to reverse the obesity epidemic in communities across the country. Learn more about this pioneering project and the national obesity problem.