Encouraging Adults to Take Small Steps

small steps 2018The Let's Go! Small Steps program helps adults lead healthier lives.
In the U.S, 30% of adults have obesity. Without significant intervention, it is estimated that 51% of the American adult population will have obesity by 2030.


Obesity plays a causal role in heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and certain cancers. Across the MaineHealth system, 71% (n = 65,605) of MaineHealth primary care patients have overweight and/or obesity, according to recent data from the electronic medical record, EPIC. Sixteen percent (n = 10,255) of those patients with overweight and/or obesity have also been diagnosed with diabetes.

Small Steps helps primary care providers care for adults by providing training around evidence-based next steps and how to support patients in managing and improving their health. This program advocates:

  1. Move More – it’s a great way to improve your health
  2. Eat Real – foods that come from nature give you energy
  3. Drink Water – it’s the best choice
  4. Rest Up – good sleep restores your body and mind

Small Steps asks primary care practices to:

  1. Deliver key messages using Small Steps posters in all exam rooms and waiting room
  2. Accurately measure weight and height, calculate BMI
  3. Engage in shared decision making using the Healthy Habits Questionnaire
  4. Utilize motivational interviewing to help patients set goals
  5. Develop and document a follow up plan for patients whose BMI is above the normal range

Tracking Progress

In 2017-2018, the Small Steps program continued to expand across the MaineHealth system.  Fourteen (14) practices were trained on Small Steps during this time, including 165 practice staff.  This program now includes an adult obesity clinical care pathway to support the work -- in 2017-2018, 49 providers attended one of four presentation on this important tool.

In addition, Let's Go! worked to achieve the following measures among MaineHealth family and internal medicine practices:  

  • >80% (n=32) of practices will complete training on adult obesity standard of care by September 30, 2018.  Result:  62%
  • 80% of participating staff rated training relevant to their practice team role.  Result:  77%
  • >50% (n=16) of practices will implement components of standard of care by September 30, 2018.  Result:  52%

Tools for Health Care Practices

Let’s Go! offers a variety of resources to help practices implement the Small Steps Program.
Learn more