Healthy Weight Clinic

Through the Healthy Weight Clinic, our specialists help children living in larger bodies achieve and maintain healthy weight levels.

We understand the connection between weight and overall health—especially future health. Our specialists have extensive experience and training in children’s weight loss, obesity medicine and management of related chronic conditions. We can help your child live a healthy life long term.

At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we are experts in children’s health. U.S. News & World Report ranks us as the best children’s hospital on the West Coast and among the top 10 in the country. When you choose us, you are choosing a team of specialists who offer comprehensive, compassionate pediatric care.

Healthy Weight Clinic: Why Choose Us?

Highlights of our Healthy Weight Clinic include: 

  • Specialized services: Our clinic is one of the only pediatric weight clinics in Southern California. We are also one of the only hospitals in the state where children with Medi-Cal have access to weight management services. 
  • Board-certified experts: At many other hospitals, childhood obesity care is not a specific subspecialty. At Children’s Hospital, your child receives care from doctors who are certified in obesity medicine and pediatrics. This expertise lets us offer specialized treatments with excellent outcomes, including weight loss medications. We are the only clinic in the region that has the expertise to safely offer these medications to young people. Our comprehensive team also includes the expertise of registered dietitians (RDs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).
  • Access to new treatments: Thanks to our endocrinology research initiatives, your child has access to clinical trials of new treatment options. A recent study tested how using digital apps can help teenagers learn new eating behaviors and achieve healthy weights. We are also leading studies to understand how an eating plan called intermittent fasting can help adolescents prevent adult-onset diseases like Type 2 diabetes. Our dedicated research coordinator can connect your child with an appropriate clinical trial or study.
  • Robust support and resources: Our social workers can connect your family with the resources you need. A specialist may help you find a local workout facility or write a letter to allow your teenager to visit the gym. We also created Kids N Fitness® and Teens N Fitness, exercise- and nutrition-based programs to help children achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Why Might My Child Need a Weight Management Program?

Weight and height are two of the health factors doctors evaluate in children and teens. Doctors use growth charts that look at your child’s age and body mass index (BMI, a calculation using your child’s height and weight). They compare where your child falls on the growth chart to other children to calculate a number called a percentile. These growth charts can tell us if your child’s weight is:

  • Underweight (below the 5th percentile)
  • At a healthy weight (5th to 84th percentile)
  • Overweight (85th to 94th percentile)
  • Obese (above the 95th percentile)

If your child has obesity or falls in an overweight category, your doctor may recommend a weight management program. Excess weight can increase your child’s chances of developing health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. Even if your child doesn’t have these conditions now, excess weight increases the chances of developing these conditions in adulthood. 

Children’s Weight Clinics 

We offer two options for children who could benefit from weight management services:

  • In-person intensive outpatient clinic
  • Virtual healthy weight clinic

Offering both in-person and virtual services ensures that more families have access to our expert treatment options. In particular, virtual services often allow more caregivers to participate in appointments, without having to travel or take time away from school or work.

Childhood Weight Management Treatment

When your child needs weight management support services or treatment for childhood obesity, our specialists provide exceptional care. Your child’s treatment plan may include:

  • Eating plan modifications
  • Fitness and exercise programs
  • Medications
  • Specialty treatment to manage other conditions (co-morbidities) such as diabetes or a thyroid disorder
  • Bariatric surgery

We collaborate closely with multiple endocrinology experts and other specialists so that children have access to every service they may need. Learn more about pediatric weight management.