The clinical arm of the NFL program is a specialty weight management program for children aged 0.5 - 18 years. It provides a comprehensive family and behavioral approach, as this is the sole evidence-based method that has proven successful in treating obesity in the pediatric population. The core program focuses on motivation and readiness to change. Additionally, since data from our clinic has shown that children <5 years of age are most likely to be successful in achieving a healthy weight, we have developed a special program tailored to this age group called “The Hi-5 Way” which has a special focus on parenting skills.
In the NFL program, we provide counseling sessions in which roles and responsibilities, communication and motivation are discussed until the family is ready for behavior management. The initial appointment includes a collaborative physician, dietitian and mental health provider visit. This enables us to perform an in-depth medical, nutritional, physical activity, and social / behavioral assessment of the patient, as well as any psychological screening that may be necessary. At the end of the visit, an action plan is developed for the family.
A typical patient receives the following services:
- Initial assessment and evaluation by physician, dietitian and mental health provider
- A lifestyle change intervention (action plan) with intensive treatment during the first six months followed by maintenance visits, tailored to the specific needs of each family.
- 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. NFL patients may require ongoing psychological counseling due to stigmatization, depression and other psychosocial issues.
A referral from a Primary Care Physician (PCP) is required for evaluation and treatment in the NFL clinic. Please see the age-specific criteria for eligibility in the table below. Additionally, and NFL patient brochure is available here: Patient Handout
Ages 0.5 to 5.9 years
|Ages 6 to 18 years|
Weight-for-Length / BMI-for-Age
≥ 85th percentile
AND / OR
Increase in weight Z-score of 1SD or more over 1 year
≥ 99th percentile or >120% of 95th percentile
*if being referred from a facility without a registered dietitian on staff, eligible with BMI ≥ 95th percentile
|Other Criteria||N/A||Must be actively participating in a structured physical activity|