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Lifestyle Management Clinic

Addressing unhealthy eating habits as a child can improve overall health into adulthood.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 5 children in the U.S. has obesity. Children with obesity are at increased risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver disease.

Your child’s care team may include a/an:

  • Endocrinologist
  • Social worker
  • Cardiologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Behavioral health specialist
  • Bariatric surgeon

Does your child qualify?

The program is primarily for children between 2-18 years old with a body mass index (BMI) greater than the 95th percentile for age and gender. Typically, this is a BMI greater than 25 kg/m2.

Timeline for the program

We will first conduct baseline blood tests to check blood sugar; cholesterol levels; liver and kidney function; and for any underlying genetic syndromes. After the completion of these labs, your child can be referred to the program.

The first appointment with your care team typically takes one hour. During this first appointment, your care team will discuss your child’s laboratory results, diet, lifestyle, comorbidities and family history with you and your child.

Following this initial appointment, your care team will meet with you and your child every six weeks to two months for at least a year. Some of these appointments are available using telehealth and many of our providers have appointments closer to your home.

How the program works

The program encourages your child to make healthy choices using five stages:

  • Risk Avoidance: We will work with your family to better understand how making healthy choices today can help your child avoid health conditions such as diabetes, heart failure and metabolic syndromes as an adult. This will include creating an individualized healthy meal plan.
  • Family Roles in Health: Your care team will look at your family’s lifestyle and address certain aspects that could be affecting your child’s health. This stage will require participation from the whole family. We will encourage your child to only drink water, avoid sweetened beverages and stop eating snacks between meals.
  • Get Moving: Once your child understands healthy eating, the next stage will be finding a fun activity for physical activity. We will encourage your child to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day in a fun way.
  • Pharmacotherapy: After optimizing diet and physical activity, certain children would benefit from weight loss medications. We will work with you and your child to develop individualized medical management plans.
  • Bariatric surgery: Bariatric (weight loss) surgery is a procedure that can help adolescents reach healthier weight when combined with lifestyle changes. Children with BMI over 35 kg/m2 with complications or those with BMI over 40 kg/m2 are candidates for undergoing bariatric surgery.

Expectations for the family

While the program’s goal is to help your child make healthier choices, these changes often require a commitment from the entire household. We encourage you to bring any family members that would be responsible for feeding your child. Results have shown greatest improvement in BMI when the entire household makes these changes.

Understanding insurance

Typically, this program is able to be covered under insurance. Your care team will work with you to ensure this program is covered.

Patients with insurance from Security Health Plan also have access to wellness coaches that can provide additional services to your child. If you have Security Health Plan insurance, talk to your child’s care team about this service.

For more information about the Lifestyles Management Program, call 715-387-5039.