Program benefits children 6 to 10 years who struggle with their weight

August 29, 2008

The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Childrens Hospital introduces the New U Jr. Program a 10-week Medical Lifestyle Behavior Change Program designed for children 6 to 10 years who struggle with their weight.*

The program includes individualized care; nutrition counsel; fun and safe physical activity; functional options to increase activity in the daily routine; habit changing; and social support from other families in the program.

The New U Jr. Program was designed inline with the Centers existing New U Program, a Medical Weight Loss Program designed for children 11 years and older who struggle with their weight. The curriculum is adapted from two national obesity programs We Can! developed by the National Institute of Health; and Game On a kid-based nutrition and exercise program.

It is so important for children to learn healthy nutrition, lifestyle and behavior techniques at an early age, said Ihuoma Eneli, MD, MS, director of the New U Jr. Program and associate director for clinical programs in the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Childrens. We strongly recommend that all members of the household work together to make healthy changes. Family support will make it easier to learn lasting, healthy lifestyle changes.

The New U Jr. Program consists of clinic visits and group sessions for the patient and his/her parents. During clinic visits, held at the beginning and end of the program, the parent meets individually with a physician or nurse practitioner to identify risk factors and learn the smart way to set goals for their child.

Following the first clinic visit, the patient and his/her parents will attend six weekly group sessions that are led by a registered dietitian and a recreational therapist. Each group session covers a different lesson on healthy, nutritional lifestyle behaviors and allows the child to participate in fun physical activity sessions while connecting and having the support of other families. The group sessions occur in the evenings at the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, located at 655 E. Livingston Ave., Columbus, 43205.

To enter the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, the child must have a body mass index of 95 percent or greater and be referred by a physician.

For more information about the New U or New U Jr. programs, visit, or call the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Childrens Hospital at (614) 722-4824.

*At least one adult in the household must attend the New U Jr. Program with the child.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report ‘s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at