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Introducing MEND – Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!

May 17, 2018

Shawnee Health Service is proud to introduce the MEND program.

In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2015-2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 children ages 6-19 in the United States has obesity. Children with obesity are at higher risk of having chronic health conditions, such as asthma, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation and lower self-esteem. In the long term, a child with obesity is more likely to be obese as an adult, and have a higher risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancer (CDC, 2018).


MEND is an evidence-based healthy lifestyle programs that empowers 7-13 year olds, with the support of their families, to reach and maintain a healthy weight. It does this by helping families change unhealthy attitudes about food and activity (Mind), keep physically active on a regular basis (Exercise), learn how to choose foods that are healthy, tasty and nutritious (Nutrition), and take action to maintain a healthy lifestyle – for life (Do It!). It does not focus on weight itself, but instead on the behaviors that lead to overweight and obesity.


MEND 7-13 is a 20-session family Program that meets for two hours twice a week and is attended by the child and at least one parent or caregiver. The first hour is an interactive family session on nutrition and behavior topics, followed by one hour of fun exercise for the children while the parents meet for support and discussion on topics such as goals and rewards, label reading and problem solving.


What is MEND?

MEND is a comprehensive, family-based program that helps overweight children ages 7-13 improve their health, fitness and self-esteem. MEND supports children and their families to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Who participates in MEND?

  • Children ages 7-13 who are above a healthy weight for their height
  • Parents and guardians (required)
  • Siblings of MEND participants

Is MEND effective?

MEND was developed and tested by leading experts in child nutrition, child psychology, and exercise. MEND’s innovative approach to preventing obesity complies with all relevant national guidelines and recommendations.


For more information about the MEND program, check out our MEND Healthy Lifestyle Program page. To register for the program, call (618) 519-9200.

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All Shawnee Health clinics are currently closed. If you need to get ahold of the On-Call Provider, call 618-519-9200, press option #1, select your “specialty” needed and follow the prompts for our On-Call Provider. If you are dealing with an emergency please call 911 or visit the ER.

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