BMI Screening

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends routine obesity screening for children starting at age 2. However, screening alone is not enough and BMI alone does not tell the whole story. As we know, BMI is just an indicator that there may be a risk for future health issues. Physicians can play a key role in helping families determine what behaviors might be contributing to an unhealthy weight and steps the family can take to be healthier. In fact, the American Medical Association (AMA) provides recommendations for screening and counseling related to weight and related health behaviors.

 Dr. Cristina Fernandez MD With support from a Blue Cross and Blue Shield grant, Live Well Omaha Kids and Creighton Pediatrics has developed a toolkit to equip physicians with the tools they need to help their patients and families lead healthier lives. This toolkit, developed with Dr. Cristina Fernandez, includes best practice tools for screening, key intervention resources (e.g., breastfeeding education) and community resources for families.

Dr.  Fernandez, (Associate Professor of Pediatrics for Creighton University / Children’s Physicians; Medical Director-HEROES Program; & Associate Program Director for UNMC/Creighton University/Children’s Hospital) is a leader in obesity prevention and treatment in the Omaha area. As part of this grant, Dr. Fernandez is available to attend clinic meetings, free of charge, to deliver a fruit basket, review the toolkit, and conduct a short training to share tips and success stories about BMI counseling and referral.

If your practice is interested in hosting Dr. Fernandez for a 10-15 minute presentation, please contact Kelly Bouxsein at or 402-343-4548.

How to Get Involved

The contents of Dr. Fernandez’s physician BMI tooklit were designed to address specific concerns from Nebraska physicians around treating childhood obesity including: lack of time, lack of resources, lack of evidence-based interventions, lack of intervention programs in communities and lack of culturally sensitive and specific programming. These materials are available for download:

AMA Recommendations







* These materials have been reprinted with author permission.