Obesity

Appointments: 1-866-870-5570

Heathy Lifestyle Clinic

Published On 05/05/2015

The Pediatric Obesity Program partners with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to provide an interdisciplinary Healthy Lifestyle Clinic, which helps children and adolescents with obesity. After a comprehensive evaluation on a child’s first visit, a personalized health plan aimed at reducing metabolic complications and improving body composition and fitness is developed. Children in our program follow-up regularly in clinic to monitor progress and receive individualized attention in the following areas:

Medicine

Clinicians evaluate patients for medical causes of obesity, including genetic, brain and hormone abnormalities. They screen patients for medical complications of obesity, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, fatty liver disease, sleep disorders and diabetes. In addition, patients with these complications receive tailored treatment from medical specialists.

Nutrition

Registered Dietitians assess the child’s current diet and help create nutrition-related plans to meet health goals. Dietitians help the family develop skills to make better nutrition choices for a healthier diet.

Fitness

Fitness specialists assess the child’s strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and endurance. Personalized exercise plans are provided based on activities the child enjoys, equipment the family has at home and their neighborhood. Participants meet with the fitness specialists monthly to adjust the program and to address any obstacles the participants encounter. Weekly group exercise classes are also offered.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral health coaches evaluate patients for psychological concerns that might be affecting their weight, including mental health, eating patterns, body image and environmental factors. They help the child and their family stay motivated, problem solve and set goals in positive ways.

Surgery

For adolescents and young adults with severe obesity and obesity-related health complications, bariatric surgery will be an additional treatment option as early as Summer 2016. The interdisciplinary team will perform comprehensive medical, behavioral and psychological evaluations of interested patients to determine if surgery would be a safe and beneficial option to consider. We will prepare patients for necessary lifestyle changes prior to surgery and provide long-term follow-up of patients after surgery.

Future Directions

  • Group exercise and sports programs will be expanded to accommodate children with cardiopulmonary conditions as well as varied physical and mental abilities.
  • Specialized clinics will focus on patients who have diabetes, fatty liver disease and conditions such as brain tumors, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Behavioral group programs for children and adolescents are under development that will use interactive tools to teach about the values of healthy living, enhance motivation to change, address maladaptive eating patterns (such as binge eating) and help patients overcome roadblocks to change.
  • Medically monitored weight loss using meal replacements will be an option for teens with severe obesity. Patients can select from several types of pre-packaged foods and drinks, all of which are rich in protein and provide appropriate nutrition while reducing overall caloric intake. The interdisciplinary team will support and guide each patient in transitioning from using meal replacements to consuming a healthy regular diet.
  • Our comprehensive bariatric surgery program will include pre- and postsurgical healthy lifestyle coaching to support healthier practices within the home environment to sustain positive habits throughout adulthood.

Referrals

For more information about Le Bonheur's Healthy Lifestyle Clinic, contact HLC@lebonheur.org or 901.287.7337/1.866.870.5570.