Obesity occurs when a child is significantly over the ideal weight for her height. Like adults, children become obese when they eat more calories than they use. Obesity in children is determined by using a body mass index (BMI) percentile. BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height.
Researchers continue to search for ways to treat obesity, but taking preventive measures has proven to be the best method so far. This means eating a healthy diet based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and lean protein. It is also important to maintain an active lifestyle by getting at least an hour of physical activity a day.
How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches obesity
Boston Children’s has five hospital-based programs to help children and their families manage their weight.
- Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program: The largest pediatric weight management clinic in New England treats overweight children between 2 and 20.
- The One Step Ahead program: Focused on prevention and management, OSA treats 3-13 year-olds who are part of the Boston Children’s Hospital Primary Care Center (CHPCC).
- PREP program: Based in the Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic at Boston Children’s, this multidisciplinary program works with 13 to 25 year olds in their primary care clinic to develop a teen- and young adult-friendly approach to weight and lifestyle management.
- Preventive Cardiology Clinic (Lipid Clinic):Thepreventive cardiology program serves patients who have elevated lipid levels and/or hypertension. Seventy percent of the children seen in this program are obese and thus many of the interventions focus on the same types of lifestyle and behavior changes as the clinical obesity programs.
- Bariatric Surgery Program: This multi-disciplinary program for adolescents who are considering surgical interventions to reduce weight. Patients must have attempted at least six months of medically supervised weight loss before they would be considered for eventual surgery.
|New Balance Foundation gives $7 million gift to Children Hospital Boston|
The New Balance Foundation has given Boston Children’s Hospital $7 million to establish the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital to help grow clinical research, patient care and community health programs to help control childhood obesity. Learn more about this new center in the Boston Children’s newsroom.
Obesity: Reviewed by David Ludwig, MD, PhD
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2012
Childhood obesity: The epidemic hits minority kids especially hard
- Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program
- General Endocrinology Program
- Kidney Stone Center
- New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital
- Nutrition Center
- One Step Ahead Program
- Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program
- Social Work Training Program
- Type 2 Diabetes Program