Healthy Weight Initiative for Pediatric Obesity
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital offers a multi-level approach to pediatric obesity including the only pediatric weight management clinic on Florida’s west coast, our Healthy Steps clinic. Learn about our innovative approach and services within the Healthy Weight Initiative.
A firm foundation for maintaining healthy weight, for life
Through the Healthy Weight Initiative, we offer a multi-level approach to one of the most complex healthcare challenges of our time: pediatric obesity. Our hospital offers state-of-the-art clinical care, the highest quality education for clinical providers, and the most innovative research and discovery efforts in the field of pediatric obesity. We also prioritize a culture of patient-centeredness and communication to allow children and families to feel supported at every step of weight management journey.
Our multi-disciplinary team of licensed clinicians work with families and children to help them lead healthier lives. We go beyond “quick diet fixes" and empower your child with life-long behavior change. We provide tailored recommendations appropriate to each child’s unique developmental, dietary, and lifestyle needs.
Explore family resources:
Whether you’re looking for information about the treatment of pediatric obesity or just learning about healthy lifestyle choices for you or your family, we have evidence-based options for all age-groups!
Childhood Obesity and Hidden Sugars in Food
Childhood obesity is associated with excess sugar intake, and nearly one in three children meet criteria for overweight or obesity, so reducing excess sugar intake is an important tactic to reduce your child’s risk for these health issues. On this week’s On Call for All Kids, Raquel Hernandez, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative, helps us find those hidden sugars and reduce the risk of excess calories and sugar intake in our children’s diets.
Resources for All Ages
Resources for Infants & Toddlers (Ages 0-4)
Resources for Children (Ages 5-11)
Resources for Teens & Young Adults (Ages 12-17)
How we help children facing weight challenges
Our clinical team provides individualized patient care within our Healthy Steps Clinic based in St. Petersburg and are offering virtual appointments, too! We serve children and young adults aged 0-21 years.
Our pediatric obesity services:
- Comprehensive medical assessment
- Screening for weight-related medical issues including diabetes, hypertension, and liver disease among other issues
- Nutritional assessments
- Behavioral and mental health assessments
- Physical activity assessments
- Assessment for appetite and disordered eating behaviors
- Referrals to other medical specialist as needed
What is pediatric obesity?
Pediatric obesity, also called childhood obesity, is a medical condition where a child’s weight is higher than expected for their age and height. Obesity is a chronic disease that can result in metabolic, psychosocial, and biomechanical health consequences if not addressed early and effectively. Obesity can become a lifelong disease impacting many areas of health and lifestyle, but it is very treatable when addressed early and with effective measures.
Nearly 1 in 3 children aged 2-18 years old currently meet criteria for being overweight, and approximately 1 in 4 children are currently obese.
What is the Healthy Weight Initiative doing to combat childhood obesity?
The obesity epidemic has made it clear that we need to do more to support children and families in promoting healthy lifestyles. The JHACH Healthy Weight Initiative is here to support your and your child towards a healthier weight.
We know that early prevention and intervention is key. But to create lasting change for your child's future, a patient-centered approach to this complex disease is critical. Your child’s unique food and activity preferences, family routines, and daily stressors are all factored in to provide a meaningful and lasting approach to a healthier lifestyle.
The JHACH Healthy Weight Initiative team has implemented a multi-level approach to combat pediatric obesity.
Providing state-of-the-art clinical treatment options for patients with weight-related health issues
Educating and supporting clinical providers across specialties to know the latest clinical guidelines and treatment to care for pediatric patients with weight issues
Leading research and discovery in efforts to prevent and treat pediatric obesity
Using this multi-level approach, we seek to advance the field of pediatric obesity medicine to move past the over-simplified and failed approach of “eat less and exercise more”. Instead, we strive to help you confidently move towards the weight and lifestyle goals that work for you and your child.
Real patient outcomes
For the past decade, we’ve had the privilege of caring for patients with weight-related issues. Here are examples of some of our patient’s successful outcomes:
- Improved self-esteem, confidence, and body image
- Improved appetite control and regulation strategies
- Improved behavioral issues such as ADHD, anxiety, or depression
- Resolution of weight related issues including but not limited to: constipation, high cholesterol, prediabetes or elevated liver function
- Enhanced understanding of appropriate physical activity goals
- Weight loss or weight maintenance in more than 75% of patients seen in Healthy Steps Clinic
Education and training in pediatric obesity medicine
At All Children’s, we are an academic institution offering clinical training to trainees and inter-professional staff, as well families and community audiences. We educate on key topics like weight management, pediatric obesity screening, and obesity prevention strategies.
Research and Discovery in Pediatric Obesity
As part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, we are committed to advancing the field of pediatric obesity medicine using our outstanding team of clinical leaders and investigators based within our Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Using a collaborative approach between our nationally and internationally known basic scientists and clinical investigators, we are actively involved in a variety of research efforts focused on pediatric obesity prevention, diagnostics and treatment. Learn about our ground-breaking PREDICT (Prospective Research on Early Determinants of Illness and Children's health Trajectories) study, one of the country’s only studies focused on identifying early life factors stemming in pregnancy that may be associated with weight-related and other health risks.