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Obesity Institute - Prevention and Behavior Modification

A key piece of our strategy in the community is to lead the effort to modify children’s and families’ behaviors in a culturally sensitive, medically responsible and evidence-based manner. Factors to consider include family history of overweight, family income and education level, ethnicity, cultural norms, sedentary and exercise behaviors, peer influence, family eating patterns, and the “built” and school environments.

The Institute will serve as a think tank for developing new, innovative, and scalable protocols, and by making it possible to move quickly to design and validate programs that can be customized to differing cultural, physical and genetic needs.  We will also continue to provide important leadership by evaluating outside programs, processing data, and producing evidence of success.  

As programs are proven to be effective, the Institute will work with government and the community to make them available throughout the District.   A broad-scale implementation of prevention and behavior modification programs in the community will also help us conduct longitudinal studies of their effectiveness prior to expand to the regional and national levels.

Today at Children’s National

We currently offer three programs in Northwest and Southeast Washington, DC:

  • Combating Overweight and Obesity in Latino (C.O.O.L.) Kids – Located at the Adams Morgan Health Center, this program focuses on children ages 8 to 15 and includes 12 weeks of intensive educational and nutritional counseling, physical activity and motivational therapy interventions followed by 21 months of follow-up.
  • FitFamily – This program adapts C.O.O.L. Kids to the African-American population in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington at the Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) in Southeast D.C.
  • Start Early, Start Right – This program represents a family-based approach to prevention among Latino preschool children, addressing the threat of overweight and obesity early in children’s lives.

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Meet the team

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For more information, contact Evan Nadler, MD at 202-476-2151 or

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