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Obesity Program

Contact number | 202-476-7200
Teenage boy

Promoting Healthier Lifestyles

At the core of every care plan, we engage families to determine the best treatment for your child and to develop a realistic lifestyle plan for your family.

Meet the team

The Obesity Program is a weight-loss and health education program that brings together a comprehensive team of physicians, researchers and healthcare professionals for children and teens committed to preventing and treating childhood obesity.

Children’s National Hospital is one of only a few dedicated pediatric teams in the nation that offers a continuum of care and support for families. We aim to empower children and teens, from ages 18 months to 18 years old, to improve their quality of life and to achieve health gains that will follow them into adulthood.

Improving your child’s health is our priority because children who are at an unhealthy weight are at greater risk for serious health problems, including type 2 diabetesdepression, heart disease and disabilities, and they are more likely to become adults who are above their healthy weight range.

"We look at every component of a child’s life and involve the entire family for success. This is a lifelong endeavor," says Evan Nadler, M.D., co-director of the Obesity Program. "And it’s not about the weight, it’s about being healthier."

Choosing Children’s National for Preventing and Treating Childhood Obesity

Highlights of our program include:

  • Family-centered programs. Obesity is a complex condition influenced by environmental, social, economic, behavioral and genetic factors. Through our innovative multidisciplinary programs and interventions, we find out what your family needs to be successful, and we support you in your efforts to change. We also educate your family about behaviors and habits that have a positive impact on health.
  • Care for children to young adults. Our team is experienced in caring for the physical as well as psychological differences between children and teenagers. We prepare teens to continue their healthy lifestyles into adulthood, as they enter the workforce or go off to college.
  • Bariatric surgery. This program helps children and adolescents who are struggling with their weight. We consult with you to discuss the options and develop a preparatory and post-procedure plan for successful outcomes. Learn more about our Bariatric Surgery Program.

Improving Diet, Energy and Activity for Life Clinic

The IDEAL Clinic, which is part of the Obesity Program, includes pediatricians, pediatric sub-specialists, pediatric nurse practitioners, clinical dietitians, health educators and sleep medicine specialists. This multidisciplinary team helps children and teens live a healthier lifestyle, achieve a healthy weight and reduce the risk of complications related to obesity. The team meets with patients every four to eight weeks and can extend to a duration of greater than one year.    

Referral guidelines for the IDEAL Clinic:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile
  • Elevated fasting cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), insulin, glucose, high blood pressure (hypertension) or liver function tests (LFT)
  • Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) or Blount’s disease

If your child has hypothyroidism, short stature or other endocrine disorder, we can help with a referral to the appropriate specialist in Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Obesity

When it comes to our team’s mission, we consider the full continuum of care, from obesity prevention to intervention as it relates to research, advocacy and education. The partnership of Obesity Program specialists with the Children’s National Research Institute is a combination without parallel across the country.

Contact Information

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Obesity Program, please call us at 202-476-7200.

Maria's Journey

Obesity

Maria gestures with her hands as she discusses her weight loss journey

Maria was the first patient to have weight-loss surgery at Children's National. With its multidisciplinary approach, a team developed a personalized plan for the teenager.

Maria's Journey

Obesity Program Team