A new set of tools to treat childhood obesity is being dispersed to doctors, clinics and hospitals across Louisiana.

The Baton Rouge-based Pennington Biomedical Research Center has developed the Childhood Obesity Treatment Toolkit, a website and printed guide for medical professionals to better understand causes of and treatments for obesity.

Currently online at pbrc.edu/obesitytoolkit/, the kit was developed by Pennington and Baptist Community Ministries, which will also distribute 2,000 printed copies of the toolkit.

Information in the kit stresses the importance of family involvement in children’s health and encourages healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle. The toolkit also provides tips and interview strategies doctors can use while talking to children and their parents about nutrition and weight.

“Doctors have limited time with patients, and this toolkit provides a simple starting point to begin and continue the conversation about developing a healthy lifestyle earlier on so that our state’s children are less likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other dangerous chronic conditions,” Dr. William Cefalu, executive director of Pennington, said in a news release.

Any medical professional who would like a printed copy of the toolkit can email Pennington at obesitytoolkit@pbrc.edu.