The Center for Childhood Obesity

This center was developed to provide comprehensive help to the community and providers in caring for patients with weight management challenges, obesity (children with a body mass index above the 95th percentile) and associated co-morbidities. Programs include:

  • The Program for Healthy Bodies – a comprehensive evaluation of medical and psychosocial issues as well as an assessment of lifestyle leads to an individualized plan for each patient. This plan may include subspecialty care. The goal for every family is additional weight management services close to home between visits to the Center. Over 80% of the children seen are severely obese.
  • On the Weigh –10-week group programs for elementary school age children and their parents are offered at the CyFair Health Center in the late afternoon.
  • The Weigh of Life Program – a 15 week program that serves individual children and addresses behavior change for weight control as well as emotions and self-esteem.
  • Kamp K’aana – a 2 week residential camp program for children 10 to 14 years of age who are struggling with obesity, supported in part through fund-raising efforts of volunteers from Texas Children’s Hospital. Sites expanded from Camp Cho-yeh to YMCA Camp Cullen.
  • The Saturday Wellness Program – quarterly sessions offered on Saturday mornings to teach children aged 6-16 about healthy lifestyles and nutrition. Supported by the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

Community Impact 2013

  • The Program for Healthy Bodies saw over 400 patients in 2013 with over half insured through Medicaid or CHIP.
  • 33 families participated in the On the Weigh program. Real-time Spanish translation was provided.
  • 38 families attended the Saturday Wellness Program sessions hosted at various Texas Children’s Health Center locations.

Short term goals:

  • The main goal is to improve how families throughout the Texas Children's system connect to the many programs offered by Texas Children's.
  • Early in 2014, a page on the Texas Children's web site will have a list of all TCH programs with links to details about eligibility and enrollment. Texas Children's has many options, and we want to present those options clearly to Texas Children's Hospital, Texas Children's Pediatrics and community providers.
  • To fill a gap in basic healthy nutrition education that is readily accessible, the Center for Childhood Obesity is beginning a repeated cycle of 4 classes. Aiming at preteens and younger and their families, the dietitians provide a lot of visual information and games to help families identify healthy food, put together healthy meals, and make good choices when eating out. The classes can be attended in any order and are open to other divisions.

Long term goals:

  • Offer On the Weigh at a Texas Children's Pediatrics Community Cares Program location in southeast Houston, an area not served by our health centers.
  • Develop a continuous care model of obesity care, modeled on the Expert Committee recommendations on Child and Adolescent Obesity, at the new Texas Children's Health Plan Center at Greenspoint. This project will be a collaboration between Texas Children's Health Plan, Texas Children's Hospital and The Center for Clinical Effectiveness.
  • After the completion of the CDC Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project grant in 2015, to work on disseminating the findings from the primary care work at our 5 pilot Texas Children's Pediatrics offices to other Texas Children's Pediatrics offices.

Community partners:

  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Camp Cho-Yeh
  • YMCA Camp Cullen