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INTRODUCTION: Obesity is a highly burdensome public health issue associated with premature death, multiple comorbid disabilities and staggering healthcare costs. Between 1980-2000, the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents nearly tripled. Obesity subjects youth to social stigmatization and discrimination. These economic and personal burdens mandate targeted prevention and detection educational programs for all individuals at risk. The most cost-effective method of approaching this obesity epidemic is through education of health professionals. METHODS: As part of an "Obesity Prevention in Pediatrics" curriculum, postgraduate-year (PGY)-2 residents first observed and then participated in the dietary evaluation and counseling of pediatric patients and their families. Attitudinal questionnaires, multiple-choice knowledge examinations and a pre-established checklist of desired skills and behaviors provided evaluation of the curriculum's effect on the participants' ability and willingness to manage actually obese or at-risk pediatric patients and their families. RESULTS: Attitudinal survey and knowledge test scores from control PGY-3 residents generally confirmed that their knowledge and counseling skills on obesity prevention and management were well below expectation. Following participation in the curriculum, study residents' knowledge tended to improve, as did their level of comfort in counseling obese and at-risk children, adolescents and their parents. CONCLUSION: Implementation of an "Obesity Prevention in Pediatrics" curriculum appears to improve participants' knowledge base as well as their skills and level of personal comfort in the recognition, evaluation and management, including counseling, of both obese and at-risk pediatric patients and their families.