Obesity is linked to a rise in premature deaths and major health problems due to its role in the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are prevalent in the population Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital serves. The primary goal of Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital's Healthy Lifestyle Program (HLP) is the prevention of childhood obesity through increased consumption of low-fat/fat-free dairy and fruits and vegetables, and improved physical fitness.
HLP measures and monitors body mass indices (BMI) and works with primary care physicians to track improvement throughout the program. Certified dietitian nutritionists, registered dieticians, and certified personal trainers provide nutrition education and safe activities for participants. Parents/guardians also participate with their children to ensure their safety.
Results are behavioral and include making positive, healthy choices aimed at sustaining wellness sustainability through life-long change. Participants increased physical activity and established better nutrition habits. The program has a 90% completion rate: 411 of 456 enrolled at-risk participants graduated. Of the 411, 250 lowered their BMI scores (61% success rate).