The Healthy Eating and Living Education (HEALED) program provides primary care physicians and staff with efficient, evidence-based strategies for the assessment, prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.
Learn more about HEALED!
Childhood obesity is the leading healthcare concern facing children today. Over the past two decades, the landscape of obesity has undergone a change unlike anything we have witnessed in other areas of medicine. The prevalence of obesity in adults and children has increased dramatically, as has the resulting co-morbidities. The causes of this dramatic increase are numerous, with contributing factors including genetics, environment, culture, tradition, ethnicity, economics, and politics. Numerous risk factors have been identified, beginning with the prenatal period and continuing throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence.
A 2007 policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics provides evidence-based recommendations for the prevention, evaluation, management and treatment of childhood obesity. However, despite adequate knowledge of the medical aspect of childhood obesity, and a strong desire to care for their patients, pediatricians continue to find childhood obesity very difficult to manage. Many barriers are present for both physicians and families in attempting to treat overweight children. Treatment recommendations can be esoteric rather than practical; community resources are elusive; and appropriate referral for those in need of specialty care difficult to identify. The widespread nature of obesity has led to despair on many levels – physicians, community leaders, parents, and even children themselves often feel overwhelmed and unable to make successful change.
HEALED Training Program
The HEALED program offers pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and others tools and strategies to address the problem of overweight and obese children in their practices. This program was piloted in Chattanooga in 2012. The purpose of the HEALED program is to provide primary care physicians and staff with efficient, evidence-based strategies for the assessment, prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.
HEALED Program Content
The content of the HEALED program consists of an overview of the problem of obesity in this country and factors that contribute to obesity; a process that can be used in the practice to assess and treat children who are overweight or obese; medical and community resources for families with an obese child; a workflow template to develop an office protocol; and, appropriate coding for payment.
- The Science: The program provides an overview of the epidemiology and trends in the rise in obesity in this country; factors that contribute to obesity in children including social, ecological and cultural influences; and, barriers to assessment and treatment of overweight and obese children by primary care providers.
- Implementation Process & Case Study: The program uses a case study to explain an implementation process that addresses the assessment and treatment of obese children.
- Two tools are introduced to assist primary care providers to assess and manage the obese or overweight child. These tools capture in a brief and efficient way, the essential components of evaluation and management recommended by the 2007 Expert Committee Regarding the Prevention, Assessment and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity.
- Coding and Office Protocol: Participants have the opportunity to learn about coding for payment of services related to obesity and co-morbidities. They also have an opportunity to review a workflow template to develop an office protocol that they can take back to their office and discuss with their staff.
HEALED Contact InformationRebecca Robinson, MPH