A Brief History:

The MEND 7-13 Program was created to help overweight and obese children improve their lifestyles and health, with the support and encouragement of their families. Currently, about one-third of children in the US—close to 25 million children—are overweight or obese, making them more likely to become overweight or obese adults. MEND 7-13 aims to improve the children’s and families' eating and activity habits, to prevent children from becoming obese adults.

The Program was originally developed in 2000 by leading childhood obesity experts in the United Kingdom (UK). It is based on 10 years of research and results, including a randomized controlled trial (RCT) published in the February 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Obesity. These results demonstrate that children who completed the MEND 7-13 Program showed statistically significant improvements in weight, cardiovascular fitness and self-esteem in comparison to a control group that didn’t receive the intervention.

Over the years, the MEND 7-13 Program has been adapted for use in four other countries—Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and most recently, the US. In 2008, we adapted the national UK program to US dietary and policy guidelines and successfully completed our first pilot study in Rego Park, New York, in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. MEND has since expanded to Texas, California, Colorado, Washington DC, N. Carolina and Virgina. To help meet our families’ needs, MEND 7-13 materials are also available in Spanish.