IN4Kids (Integrating Nutrition for Kids)
Practice-Based Nutrition Project to Decrease Childhood Obesity
Pediatric overweight and obesity are rapidly growing problems in the United States, with adverse implications for children and for their health as adults.
In North Carolina, the percent of children who are overweight has significantly increased for all age groups. Although there is evidence that interventions can prevent or reverse childhood overweight, there has been insufficient research on models that can reach children on a large scale. Further, there has been little work on the feasibility and financial sustainability of practices integrating nutritional counseling into pediatric primary care, an approach warranting attention.
IN4Kids (July 2008-December 2010) is an intervention of the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission that attempts to fill this gap. Its purpose is to assess the value of integrating registered dietitians (RDs) into primary care practices to work with children ages 2 to 18 years who are overweight or at-risk of becoming overweight. For this project, the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission has contracted with Duke Community Health, to serve as the Management and Research Team for the study. Six to eight primary care practices (pediatrics or family medicine) affiliated with NC medical schools will serve as research sites. An Advisory Panel including health professionals from North Carolinaís four medical schools and the State Division of Public Health provides guidance on study design and interpretation.
IN4KIDS will measure how effectively primary care practices incorporate an RD into the practice, and will study changes in practice behavior, changes in the children referred to the nutritionist, and the potential financial feasibility of incorporating RDs into primary care practices. Study findings are expected to have implications for clinical practice and public policy.