The Department of Pediatrics’ Nutrition & Fitness for Life (NFL) Program is an innovative clinical and community-centered obesity prevention and treatment program. Through unique interventions, initiatives and collaborations, the NFL Program seeks to support children and families in leading healthier lives.
In 2009, the NFL clinic began a secondary prevention program called Hi-5 Way, which focuses on children under 6 years of age who are overweight or rapidly gaining weight. For more information, please see the Patient Handout and the eligibility criteria under the Services tab.
The Nutrition & Fitness for Life Program’s community branch aims to build the capacity of communities to support Boston youth and families in developing healthier lifestyles. To do so, the program develops and implements nutrition education and fitness programming for children and families.
The NFL program develops and hosts workshops, conferences, and seminars for health professionals and area youth workers. The program also advocates for positive environmental changes and health policies, serves as a consultant group for new pediatric weight management programs, and is involved in research and educational activities.
HistoryThe NFL Program was initiated in May 2002 by Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Center for Weight Management and Nutrition at BMC and Barry Zuckerman, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at BMC, as a clinical pilot project to identify the feasibility and success of an adolescent weight management clinic. The pilot clinic offered medical, nutritional and physical activity counseling with adjunct initiatives.
The program was expanded in the summer 2003 under the leadership of Carine Lenders, MD, and clinical dietician, Vivien Morris, who focused on the pediatric weight management clinic and community-based interventions, respectively.
The NFL Program serves approximately 400 families through its two arms, provides education and training to primary and specialty health providers, community leaders, undergraduate students and medical students.
In 2009, the NFL clinic began a secondary prevention program focusing on children under six years of age who are overweight or rapidly gaining weight such that they are at risk of overweight.