Childhood obesity is a major public health problem and poses important challenges for both health care and school-centered environments. Each faces difficulties in successfully addressing this problem: school personnel report lack of training in intervention, and health providers report ineffective office-based intervention strategies. With coordination of interventions in the school and office, prevention and treatment of childhood obesity can be improved. Toward this, the function of prescribing exercise as a preventive treatment can be very effective. This review evaluates recent literature upon the health care provider's role in and out of the medical office at prescribing exercise and the associated health benefits of exercise for children. Thus, health professionals caring for children and adolescents are in a key position to help prevent and treat obesity by promoting behavioral and environmental changes. Although the evidence base is insufficient to provide specific guidelines for assessment and treatment of all aspects of child and adolescent obesity, the following recommendations reflect critical reviews of the literature and are based upon expert committee guidelines.