Being overweight has been linked with a variety of serious medical disorders, including increased risk for heart problems, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Medical weight management is a supervised type of weight loss program that’s based on the child’s specific medical needs and habits as well as food preferences to achieve superior long-term results and better overall health and wellness. Under a doctor’s supervision, children can lose excess weight without compromising nutrition so they can enjoy optimal health and avoid nutritional deficiencies that can interfere with hormonal development, immunity and normal growth and development. Because medical weight loss programs are associated with a higher rate of success compared to “DIY” diet programs, they also help overweight children build greater self-confidence and self-esteem, helping them feel more comfortable with their peers. In addition to helping overweight children lose weight, weight management programs can also be used to help very underweight children achieve optimal weights.
Nutritional counseling is a healthy eating program designed to address the nutritional needs of an individual child, including helping children learn to make healthier eating choices and overcome “picky eating.” Good nutrition is the cornerstone of childhood health, supporting normal growth and development at school, at home and in social activities like sports. Nutritional counseling begins with a physical assessment of health as well as a personal and family medical history to identify risk factors and develop a better understanding of the challenges the child is facing. Children and parents also will be asked about eating habits and food preferences to develop a program uniquely suited to the needs of the child.
Yes, nutritional counseling can be an ideal “fit” for children with special medical needs like diabetes and for children with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Nutritional programs are designed to be flexible, helping children get the nutrients they need to support optimal health and wellness. Plus, they can accommodate even the pickiest eaters to prevent nutritional deficiencies and avoid allergies and other issues surrounding specific foods or ingredients.
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