Nationwide Childrens Hospital Among 25 Childrens Hospitals Participating in Task Force on Best Practices for Pediatric Weight Management Programs

October 25, 2010

The National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) announced today the FOCUS on a Fitter Future II task force. Nationwide Children’s Hospital alongside 25 children’s hospitals across the country will collaborate to identify best practices of hospital-based clinical pediatric weight management programs. Nationwide Children’s is hosting the task force’s first meeting today and tomorrow October 25-26, as the group will continue its work through 2011.

“We are proud to join other children’s hospitals to identify quality initiatives and cost-effective innovations that have been impactful in combating childhood obesity in our community,” said Ihuoma Eneli, MD, MS, associate director for clinical programs in the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “We look forward to contributing to such an important body of knowledge that will provide a blueprint for Children’s hospitals to build and sustain successful pediatric weight management programs.”

FOCUS on a Fitter Future II builds upon the work of the first cohort of the FOCUS collaborative, announced in 2008, which sought to demonstrate how committed children’s hospitals, together with academic medical centers, can sustain vibrant weight management programs; adhere to standard measures of care to bring uniformity and advance the quality of the field; model wellness in hospital and administrative settings and serve as the center of expertise in training and application of practice change for pediatricians. Nationwide Children’s was involved with this first FOCUS collaborative.

The guidelines issued from the first task force will be published in a forthcoming supplement to Pediatrics, an article in Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care Journal, and a jointly produced survival guide by NACHRI and the American Academy of Pediatrics geared to hospital-based weight management programs.

FOCUS on a Fitter Future II is supported through a grant provided by the Mattel Children’s Foundation.

The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s offers a comprehensive approach to weight management in children, including programs for both prevention and treatment.

One component focuses on programs for the home, school and community environments in order to ensure the development of healthy lifestyles. To help address this aim, the Center created the Snackwise® software, a tool to assess the nutritional quality of processed, packaged snack foods.

In collaboration with other Ohio experts in nutrition, the Center works with physicians on the Ounce of Prevention program for parents, providing a stepwise approach to establishing healthful food and activity habits early in life. As part of its commitment to prevention, the Center works closely with the Healthy and Fit Coalition to provide a coordinated approach to obesity in central Ohio; with Action for Healthy Kids, a national and state coalition, to optimize Ohio’s schools in terms of nutrition and activity; with the United Way Health Vision Council; as well as with several other local organizations and agencies.

For children who are already overweight, the Center offers family-based medical weight management programs – New U, New U Jr. and New U Flex which cover everyday diet, fitness education and behavioral therapy to re-establish a more healthy weight. For those who have medical complications related to their weight, a more in-depth, long-term program is provided. Ultimately, some children’s complications may necessitate a surgical approach. The Center offers three options for those who meet the criteria – gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and adjustable gastric band.

For more information about the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s, visit

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 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 1.5 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 Abigail Wexner 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