Your family will meet with either a physician or a nurse practitioner at the first visit to the Healthy Weight Clinic. They will review your child’s past medical history, lab results and growth parameters including weight, height, body mass index (BMI) and growth curve to evaluate for any rare causes of obesity and any health issues related to excess weight. We will discuss safe and age appropriate weight loss goals for your child as well as counsel on health risks. We will also order screening labs and provide referrals for other sub-specialists as appropriate.
At the initial visit, the dietitian sits down with the child and family and discusses multiple aspects related to the child’s eating behaviors, habits and tendencies including things such as (but not limited to) portion sizes, food allergies, number of meals and snacks per day, skipped meals, meal/menu structure, variety in the diet, hunger, sneaking, dining out, etc. The dietitians utilize food models, handouts and other tools to teach healthy eating to the child and family. The dietitians will work with you to set reasonable nutrition goals to work on between visits.
At the initial visit, the social worker reviews the social, emotional and financial needs of the child and family. Examples of need may relate to living situation, family supports, family strengths and financial resources. The parents are asked to complete a short survey that provides family information and their attitudes about the process of healthy life style change for their child and family.
Children older than seven may be asked to complete a Childhood Depression Index to assess the child’s emotional well being. The social worker explores with the family their readiness for change and helps the family identify any potential barriers to making healthy lifestyle changes. The social worker provides community resources that will support healthy lifestyle changes and may also recommend or make referrals to address identified barriers.
The initial visit with the physical activity specialist consists of two parts. First we sit down with the child and family to learn about the child’s interests and current activities, their comfort levels and experience with exercise, and what they hope to gain from their visits. The second half of the visit is a fitness assessment which looks at cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, muscular strength and balance/coordination. This information is used for goal setting, individualized exercise programs and as a tool to measure improvement.