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Providing Families with Young Children Access to Early Interventions

A recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported on the effect weight has on children early on in their lives. Researchers followed a cohort of children over the course of nine years, measuring the children’s weight seven times throughout the study. The researchers concluded that overweight five-year-olds were four times as likely as normal-weight children to become obese. The results suggest that interventions before children turn five may have a bigger impact on their long-term weight status than interventions later in their lives.

This latest research published is confirmation that the work the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is doing through the Healthier Generation Benefit (Benefit) is critical to decreasing childhood obesity in our country. To date, 20 insurance companies and corporations have made the commitment to reimburse physicians and registered dietitians to work directly with children and their families regarding weight issues. The program is available to children who have a BMI at or above the 85th percent between the ages of 3-18. The Alliance believes that giving children and their families the opportunity to work with their healthcare providers will result in life-long healthier habits and decreased BMI. Through the Benefit, families have the opportunity to meet with their primary care provider for up to four times per year as well as meeting with a registered dietitian four times per year. The doctor’s office is the most ideal setting for families with children under the age of five to get important information and to receive support, from a trusted source, in addressing their child’s weight status. The Alliance, in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, works directly with healthcare providers to support their efforts in addressing childhood obesity.

The Alliance applauds the organizations that have made childhood obesity prevention and treatment a top priority. To learn more about how your organization can participate in the Healthier Generation Benefit, please email healthcare@healthiergeneration.org.

Jenny Bogard

Senior Healthcare Advisor, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Healthier Generation Benefit participating organizations:

  • Aetna
  • American Heart Association
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of KC
  • Cigna
  • Clinton Foundation
  • Capital District Physician’s Health Plan
  • GA State Health Plan
  • Grand Valley Health Plan
  • Highmark, Inc
  • Humana
  • Leviton
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System
  • PepsiCo
  • Sanofi
  • Weight Watchers
  • Wellpoint
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