Programs: Healthy Weight Management Program

This important health initiative, aimed at addressing the alarming and increasing risk of obesity among children in Tennessee, was launched in 2006.  The Weight Management Scholarship program, funded by a grant through the BlueCross BlueShield of TN Health Foundation, partnered with Fitwize, and exercise facility for children, and had four essential components:

(A) Identification -- a TNAAP pediatrician was responsible for diagnosing children at-risk for overweight or obesity.

(B) Motivation -- a TNAAP pediatrician was charged with motivating parents and children by discussing a need for change.

(C) Opportunity -- a family was made aware of the unique Weight Management Schoalrship Program available.

(D) Action -- after being referred by the pediatrician, the family was contacted by Fitwize staff and given suggestions on how to act on the pediatrician recommended lifestyle change by participating in the Weight Management Scholarship Program. 

The target population was overweight and obese children and their families from lower and middle income levels in the Nashville/ Brentwood/Franklin area. The BMI range for acceptance into the program included children with BMI greater than 75%.  In addition to the direct influence and impact on the children, several families reported that the adult members and caregivers in the family began to change their own lifestyle behaviors to reflect healthier activities and food choices.

Some parents joined Weight Watchers, requested shopping lists and menu ideas and joined adult workout facilities. One example of the success (and impact) of the program was a 14 year-old girl named LaShae and her mother. LaShae was one of the first scholarship recipients. After enrolling in the Program, she lost 30 pounds and her mom lost 41 pounds.