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Pediatrics – Nutrition & Fitness for Life


NFL Clinic Treatment Components

The NFL Program’s specialty weight management clinic provides a comprehensive family and behavioral approach, as this is the sole evidence-based approach in pediatrics that has proven successful in treating obesity in children. However, many families are not ready for behavior management and need counseling sessions on roles and responsibilities, communication and motivation.
The core program focuses on motivation and readiness to change. The initial visit includes a physician and dietitian visit for in-depth medical, nutritional and physical activity assessment of the patient, as well as a psychological screening. At the end of the visit, an action plan is developed for the family.
A typical patient receives the following services each year

  • Assessment and evaluation by physician and dietitian

  • A lifestyle change intervention (action plan) with intensive treatment during six clinic visits within three to six months followed by maintenance visits up to one year

  • Psychologist treatment plan based on initial screening

  • Maintenance and relapse prevention visits with the clinical team

The NFL clinical team follows children with more complex medical issues more frequently. Care plans are developed in conjunction with primary care and other specialty clinics, such as endocrinology, child psychology, sleep lab, ear, nose and throat and cardiology. Approximately 13 percent of NFL’s patients require ongoing psychological counseling because stigmatization, depression and diminished quality of life from teasing and social marginalization are part of the profound psychological impact of being overweight.


NFL is designed as a 12-month clinical program including 3 to 6 months of intensive treatment followed by maintenance sessions. The program tailors care to each family’s needs.


A referral from a Primary Care Physician is required for evaluation and treatment in the NFL clinic. Please see the eligibility criteria below. The NFL Patient Brochure has information regarding our current services.

Eligibility Characteristic

Secondary Prevention:
Hi-5 Way
0.5 to 1.9 years

Secondary Prevention:
Hi-5 Way
2 to 5.9 years
NFL Clinic Treatment
6 to 18 years or older

Weight Measures

≥ 95th percentile


Crossing Weight-for-Age Percentiles

-from 50th to greater than 75th -from 75th to greater than 90th
-from 90th  to greater than 95th

≥ 95th percentile


BMI >22 kg/m2

≥ 95th percentile

Prior Attempts to Manage Weight

 N/A  N/A

At least 3-6 months trial with PCP & then 3-6 months work with outpatient RD/nutritionist.

Readiness to Change

Parent/guardian in preparation or action Parent/guardian in preparation or action

For a Child ≥ 12 Years
Parent/guardian is in preparation or action

For a Teenager
S/he is in preparation for action

For Patients

Call: 617.414.4841
Fax: 617.414.3644

Boston Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics
Dowling Building, Room 4417
771 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118

For Appontments or to Refer a Patient

Call: 800.682.2862
Fax: 617.414.6856
Referral Form

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