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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
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The Obesity Program is a weight-loss and health education program that brings together a comprehensive team of physicians, researchers and health care 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 obese children are at greater risk for serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, depression, heart disease and disabilities, and they are more likely to become obese adults.

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 and go off to college.
  • Bariatric surgery. The Weight-Loss Surgery Program helps teenagers who are morbidly obese and unable to lose weight another way. We consult with you to determine the appropriate procedure and develop a preparatory and post-procedure plan for successful outcomes. Learn more about our Bariatric Surgery Program.
  • A public health approach. Efforts to prevent and reduce childhood obesity, like KiPOW!, extend beyond the walls of Children’s National. In addition to clinical care, we are active in the community as providers and advocates, disseminating best practices and voicing support for effective policy.

Improving Diet, Energy and Activity for Life Clinic

The IDEAL Clinic, which is part of the Obesity Program, includes physicians (preventive cardiology, endocrinology, sports medicine), 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 1 year.    

Patients may also participate in the following services:

  • Dietary counseling
  • Health education classes
  • Physical activity classes
  • Weight management counseling

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 Research

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. The Center for Genetic Medicine Research and the Center for Translational Research meet the challenges of childhood obesity with a broad spectrum of molecular, genetic, behavioral, environmental, clinical epidemiologic and translational studies.

Contact Us

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

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Obesity Program Team