Obesity

The Pediatric Obesity Program seeks to prevent and treat childhood obesity through personalized care and family-based promotion of a healthier lifestyle because one size does not fit all.

Our program is comprised of three components, including:

Healthy Lifestyle Clinic

Treating pediatric obesity

Our multidisciplinary Healthy Lifestyle Clinic helps children and adolescents manage their weight. After a comprehensive evaluation on the child’s first visit, we develop a personalized health plan aimed at reducing health complications and improving body composition and fitness. Children in our program follow-up regularly in clinic to monitor progress and receive individualized attention.

Our clinic team includes:

  • Pediatricians
  • Bariatric surgeon
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nurses
  • Registered dietitian
  • Fitness specialists
  • Occupational therapist
  • Behavioral health coaches

We offer

  • Supervised exercise programs in our fitness facility
  • Cooking classes for families in our demonstration kitchen
  • Coordinated care by subspecialists within our clinic, including nephrology, cardiology, endocrinology, nephrology, and sleep medicine
  • Specialized treatments for patients with genetic disorders
  • Medically supervised meal replacement program (OPTIFAST for Teens)
  • Bariatric surgery for adolescents with severe obesity and obesity-related health conditions
  • Behavioral health groups for children and adolescents to address and support lifestyle changes and manage conditions such as emotional overeating

Discovery and Innovation

Learning about contributors of obesity and effective treatments

We are studying the causes of obesity and researching new prevention and treatment strategies. Our goal is to achieve precision medicine through tailored treatment based on genetic and environmental factors.

Our research facilities include:

  • Prospective clinical database and sample biorepository for research participants
  • Mouse metabolic phenotyping laboratory 
  • Gnotobiotic facility for microbiome research 
  • Metabolic phenotyping and mass spectrometry core 

Our research studies include: 

  • Studying the biological mechanisms of feeding behavior, body composition, and metabolic disease
  • Investigating the role of microbiome and metabolomic profiles in obesity
  • Identifying genetic variants associated with obesity
  • Clinical trials of new obesity medications targeting specific genetic variants
  • Addressing barriers to achieving a healthier lifestyle in the Mid-South region

Healthy Lifestyle Network

Creating partnerships for a healthier community

Our program’s reach extends out into the community. We are currently establishing partnerships with schools, parks and recreation facilities, community centers and local government to develop evidence-based, scalable, and sustainable wellness programs.

Some current and past programs include:

  • Development of a Healthy Lifestyle Toolkit to assist primary care providers in counseling families for the prevention and treatment of obesity
  • Establishment of an obesity medicine fellowship to train pediatricians for certification by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and to foster the development of future physician leaders in the field of pediatric obesity
  • Culinary medicine program for healthcare providers and trainees (in partnership with Church Health Center and Junior League of Memphis)
  • Active videogame development to enhance physical activity in children (in partnership with Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School and FitNexx)
  • Diabetes prevention program for youth (in partnership with the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South and Gaisman Community Center)  

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The Le Bonheur Healthy Lifestyles Clinic offers a comprehensive menu of options for children struggling with obesity.