Children's Hospital Primary Care Center (CHPCC) | One Step Ahead Program

The One Step Ahead (OSA) Program, part of the Boston Children's Hospital Primary Care Center at Boston Children's Hospital, is an obesity prevention and management program that teaches children and adults how to develop healthful lifestyle habits. We help families learn how to make physical activity and healthy food choices part of their lives.

  • We will answer your questions about healthy activity and nutrition.
  • We will help you learn how to best manage your child's weight.
  • We provide you with ideas on how to be more active.
  • We will provide you with on-going support.

OSA is for children and teens, ages 3 to 13 years old, who receive primary care at the Children's Hospital Primary Care Center.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of:

  • Pediatricians
  • Registered Dieticians
  • Behavioral Psychologist
  • Nurse Educator
  • Resource and Program Coordinator

Visit the Meet the Team page to learn more about our providers.

What we do

The team provides families with an individualized, culturally-appropriate plan focused on helping families become more active and eat healthier foods.

The plan includes information on making healthy food choices, tips on healthy recipes and nutritious snack ideas. It also shows how important it is to make physical activity a part of your child's daily routine.

We also will help you and your child find specific physical activities and food resources right in your own community.

We will provide your child with a comprehensive medical assessment and ongoing support for your entire family.

At your OSA visits, we will

  • Comprehensive medical evaluation for obesity co-morbidities
  • Culturally-appropriate diet alternatives
  • Nutrition education
  • Links to community resources for physical activity
  • Ongoing social support for families 

Benefits of OSA

Medical problems are common in children and adolescents who are overweight or obese. Learning healthy eating and exercise habits early can prevent children from developing cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, asthma and poor self-esteem.

Parents/caregivers who are educated and empowered to make lifestyle changes can have a great impact on their children's development of healthy lifestyle habits as well as positive self-image.

Having easy access to outside support services for your child can help them succeed in developing healthy lifestyle habits.

From OSA, children and families will get:

  • food and nutrition goals
  • exercise ideas
  • information on food
  • tips on healthy snacks
  • tips on being more active 



Childhood diabetes

  • Increase in childhood obesity in the past 25 years: 2.3-to-3.3 fold

  • Estimated increase, in the past 20 years, in the prevalence of childhood diabetes: 10-fold




Junk food

Soft drinks

  • Increase in per capita consumption of soft drinks, 1950s to today: 500%

  • Amount that one additional soft drink per day increases a child's risk for obesity: 60%

  • Percentage of school districts that have contracts with soft-drink companies, allowing them to sell soft drinks on school premises: 50%



Food ads

  • Number of food ads viewed by the average child each year: 10,000

    • Percentage of these that advertise fast food, soft drinks, candy, or sugared cereals: 95%

    • Estimated annual amount spent on food advertising aimed at U.S. children: $10 billion

    • Budget for the "Five a Day" program, a federal educational program to increase fruit and vegetable consumption: $1.1 million

    • Ratio of the entire federal budget for nutrition education, compared with the advertising costs for Altoids mints: 1/5

    Physical activity

    • Increase in risk for childhood obesity per hour of daily television viewing: 12%

    • Decrease in risk for childhood obesity per hour of exercise: 10%


    Costs of obesity

    • Average charge for coronary by-pass surgery: $60,853

    • Estimated average cost of three one-hour sessions with a dietitian at an obesity clinic: $180

    • Annual direct costs of obesity to the American economy: $70 billion

    Courtesy of:

    Dream Magazine, Winter 2004, published by Boston Children's Hospital. All rights reserved.