Health and Fitness
January 11, 2011
Kaiser Permanente’s Pediatric Wellness Initiatives Highlighted in New ACHP Report
The Alliance of Community Health Plans today released a report entitled, “Pediatric Obesity: Addressing a National Challenge at a Local Level,” that recognizes three innovative Kaiser Permanente programs created to engage communities, members and health care providers in combating the pediatric obesity epidemic.
The pediatric wellness programs showcase Kaiser Permanente’s creative and multi-pronged approach to promoting health and wellness through community-based education and the use of new technology. These programs are part of Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive approach to Healthy Eating, Active Living which features state-of-the-art clinical prevention and treatment, and changes in food and physical activity environments.
The report highlights Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Teens Take It On initiative for its success in engaging high school students to become advocates for healthy eating and active living. Under the guidance of actor-educators from Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program, Colorado teens are taught the importance of physical activity and nutrition. In turn, the students produce short films for friends and peers that are used to advocate for change. Working in partnership with the Parent Teacher Association and food and nutrition services, several teens in the Jefferson County School District succeeded in introducing improved cafeteria offerings throughout their school district.
Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program was also recognized for its free, bilingual, on-line game for elementary students called the Amazing Food Detective Game. The video game allows students to choose characters who experience different challenges with healthy eating and active living. After 20 minutes, the game times out, encouraging players to get up and participate in physical activity.
Finally, the report lists Operation Zero, a family-based initiative designed for 11- to 17-year-old pre-teens and adolescents in Kaiser Permanente’s Georgia region, for its six-week educational program to promote physical activity and teach young people about healthy eating habits. The Operation Zero curriculum is taught by a multi-disciplinary team that includes a registered dietitian, professional chef and fitness specialist, and addresses such topics as low-fat cooking, reading food labels, healthy snacks, getting exercise and eating out. Using positive reinforcement and tools that compliment class work, the program motivates participants to make healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce the incidence of obesity and related chronic conditions.
The ACHP report notes Kaiser Permanente’s history as a health care leader with a reputation “around the world for innovation in developing and refining medical practices and patient solutions.”
You can view the complete ACHP report, “Pediatric Obesity: Addressing a National Challenge at a Local Level,” or visit ACHP’s website at www.achp.org.