Pediatric Primary Care: Nutrition Counseling

At Nemours we’ve made preventing obesity one of our top priorities. Through Nemours Health & Prevention Services (NHPS) groundbreaking program "5-2-1-Almost None," we’re giving kids and parents the guidance and support they need to make lifestyle choices that we hope will set the stage for a lifetime of healthy family habits.

Our 5-2-1-Almost None formula is simple:
  • 5 or more fruits & vegetables
  • 2 hours or less of screen time
  • 1 hour of physical activity
  • Almost none: sugary drinks

Annual well-child visits (check-ups) offer one of the best opportunities to share our practical obesity prevention tips with area families. In 2007, when our program was still in its early stages, we counseled 36% of our 2- to 18-year-old patients and their parents seen for annual well-child visits at our pediatric primary care locations in Delaware. That was a start. But as our commitment to the program has grown, we’ve reached more and more children through Nemours check-ups every year.

In 2008, 66% of our Delaware Primary Care patients and their parents received 5-2-1-Almost None counseling at the routine yearly visit. This number increased to 77% in just 9 months in 2009. That’s quite a feat, considering that the national average for nutritional counseling at well-child visits is 53%, based on the National Healthcare Quality Report 2008, which sets the standard for care.

As part of our ongoing commitment to preventing childhood obesity, our aim as a health care system is also to recognize obesity and capture, at least once a year, all of our patients’ body mass index (BMI) calculations, which uses weight and height measurements to estimate body fat. But doctors’ visits are just one of the ways we get the word out about childhood obesity prevention. Through community outreach and educational initiatives in schools and child care centers, we’re working hard to help make Delaware’s kids the healthiest in the nation.