Introducing the 5A’s Whiteboard Videos for Healthcare Providers!

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Project Members

This project was undertaken by experts at CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) and SickKids (The Hospital for Sick Children). The goal of the project was to create usable whiteboard videos to help busy clinicians in their practice.

What Are the 5As?

The 5A’s are a treatment framework for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to use with their clients or patients that has been shown to promote behaviour change.


In 2013, experts from The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), in collaboration with the Canadian Obesity Network (CON) modified the existing tool, “The 5As of Adult Obesity Management” for pediatrics.


The 5A’s are:

  • ASK for permission to discuss weight and explore readiness
  • ASSESS weight related risks and ‘root causes’ of obesity
  • ADVISE on health risks and treatment options
  • AGREE on health outcomes and behavioural goals
  • ASSIST in accessing appropriate resources and providers
Key Principles 5As

Why Expand the 5As:

Although the 5As resource is a helpful tool for HCPs, users stated that they would like an expanded version with practical visuals of how a 5As framed encounter would occur in a busy office setting.

Users also indicated that they would like links to helpful resources for additional learning as well as some to share with families.

This was the focus for this project: To develop an expanded 5As toolkit for pediatric weight management. This toolkit of videos and links to additional resources will give HCPs strategies to effectively address Type 2 diabetes prevention and issues related to child and adolescent weight.

Image of video stills from 5 As toolkit


The teams at CHEO and SickKids worked together to create a series of six whiteboard animations totalling 35 minutes of engaging content about weight science and how to assess and counsel a patient and their family about paediatric weight management in a sensitive, safe, and non-judgmental manner.

The Videos

The six short videos explain the content of each of the 5A’s and provide examples of how to put these guidelines into practice in everyday clinical care. Each video is 5-10 minutes.


5A’s Video List:

  • Weight Science 101
  • A Word About BMI
  • 5A’s: Ask
  • 5A’s: Assessment
  • 5A’s: Advise, Agree Assist
  • Putting It All Together


The videos hope to positively impact health care professionals’ (HCPs’) self-efficacy and improve their success in addressing obesity and risk for Type 2 diabetes in their practice.


The videos are currently available on the healthcare professional side of Meant2Prevent, and will also be available in French.

Evaluating the Videos

The videos were evaluated by comparing healthcare providers’ knowledge, and confidence in addressing weight-related issues with pediatric patients before watching the videos, after watching them, as well as 4-6 months later.



Most healthcare providers reported a change in their practice after watching the videos, and their confidence in addressing weight-related issues improved after watching.



This educational toolkit of videos based on the 5As framework showed changes in healthcare providers confidence and behaviours in addressing weight-related topics with children and families.


The full results of this study are published:

Talking About Weight With Families-Helping Health Care Professionals Start the Conversation: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial.

Bernard-Genest J, Chu L, Dettmer E, Walsh CM, McPherson AC, Strub J, Steinberg A, Steinegger C, Hamilton JK.Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2020 Sep;59(9-10):910-917. doi: 10.1177/0009922820922844. Epub 2020 May 30. PMID: 32475155 


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– name provider


[The videos] modelled exactly how to use the tools learnt and apply it to real conversation with youth about weight

Survey participant

Using an example of a child and physician and their conversation to summarize the 5As was fabulous and tied things up really well.

Survey participant

Putting it all together is really helpful and I hope to be able to reflect and review back on this program when I become rusty.

Survey participant

I think this video was a good overview and is helpful for bringing all the topics and videos discussed together! I liked that it was case based which helps demonstrate on a practical level how to implement the 5A’s of obesity management… I think it was beneficial that the doctor identified the different concerns, gave a general overview and then asked where they would like to start. This is very patient directed.

Survey Participant