Childhood Obesity Treatment Programs: A Few to Serve Many

Approximately five million children and adolescents in the U.S. now suffer with severe obesity, and the prevalence is continuing to grow. To the best of our knowledge, fewer than 50 comprehensive childhood obesity treatment programs exist in the U.S. That’s one program for every 100,000 kids with severe obesity. Click the image on the left for a list of such programs.

The evidence for benefits from bariatric surgery in older teens is growing. But we also need other options, especially for younger kids.

And even more so, we need resources to apply the knowledge we already have. Evidence-based care –nutrition, physical activity, medical care, and sometimes surgery – can make a difference. The health and lives of these children, so deeply affected, hang in the balance. Too few programs exist to deliver the care they need.

Click here for a list of programs offering a full range of evidence-based childhood obesity care services.

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February 7, 2017

2 Responses to “Childhood Obesity Treatment Programs: A Few to Serve Many”

  1. February 08, 2017 at 11:41 am, Anne Fletcher, MS, RDN said:

    I agree that this is a deplorable situation. However, a “program” is not always the solution and there are individuals in private practice and at outpatient nutrition departments of clinics and hospitals who specialize in treating children (and their families) with weight problems. They’re usually registered dietitians/nutritionists. You can find one by going to and clicking on “search by expertise.”

    • February 08, 2017 at 4:43 pm, Ted said:

      Yes indeed, Anne. Often, a child with severe obesity will need a multidisciplinary team. A skilled dietitian can be a great place to start or the indispensable core of a treatment team. Unfortunately, too many children with severe obesity have access to none of that.