Kansas City’s Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, a partnership between the University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy, seeks to become a leading voice in the local, regional and national movement to prevent and treat childhood obesity. As a comprehensive pediatric center, our primary goal is to contribute new knowledge regarding pediatric obesity and nutrition ranging in scope from its biological origins to its societal impact. Research currently conducted in the Center includes evidence-based, comprehensive studies of the assessment of behavior, nutrition and physical activity interventions on prevention and treatment, the development and analysis of public policy pertaining to pediatric obesity, the development of programs to engage communities, and the provision of leadership regarding education related to obesity prevention and treatment.

We also offer many excellent clinical programs, including PHIT Kids, Zoom to Health, Healthy Hawks and our Weight Management clinics. Weighing In, a community collaborative, is also a key program at the Center, as is the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative. Future directions for research will include relevant genomics pertaining to obesity and its association with secondary disease processes and the impact of chronic over- and under-nutrition on drug disposition and action. We are committed to reaching all children in our area, especially those in underserved, ethnic minority, low-income communities, and in assisting others to do so.

Since 2007, Kansas City’s Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition has represented an extension of the committed collaboration in the area of pediatric obesity research between two neighboring institutions who serve the health needs of children across the bi-state region of Missouri and Kansas. Supported by a state-of-the-art facility, researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Children’s Mercy Hospital lead a wide range of childhood obesity treatment and prevention initiatives designed to benefit children, families and communities. The Center is poised to serve as a leader for pediatric obesity research in the Midwest and as a centralized resource for community members, academic and business leaders who are interested in arresting the current rates of childhood obesity and moving forward to ensure the healthy lifestyles and nutrition of all children.