Children's Hospital Colorado

The Lifestyle Medicine Program

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.

What is the Lifestyle Medicine Program?

The Lifestyle Medicine Program here at Children's Hospital Colorado is our weight management program providing multidisciplinary treatment options for obese or overweight infants, toddlers, school-age children and adolescents. We conduct a comprehensive medical assessment and provide treatment for:

  • Infants or preschoolers with excessive weight gain and rapidly increasing weight/length or Body Mass Index (BMI)*
  • Obese children and teens (BMI above the 99th percentile)

*You can obtain BMI information from your child’s primary care doctor or through the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) BMI calculator. The CDC also provides helpful information about assessing BMI in children

Our treatment options focus on helping families to negotiate change and build skills in the areas of diet, activity and behavior – from interactive goal-setting to structured meal planning. Referrals may be made to our Sleep Center, physical therapy and other subspecialties as indicated. 

Why choose the Lifestyle Medicine Program at Children’s Colorado?

At our hospital, we understand that every child is different and has different needs. As a result, we take an individualized, family-centered approach with every patient and family. Our team of experts will talk with you and your child about the best ways to make healthy choices. You will decide together on healthy goals, including changes in eating, activities, sleep and behavior.

You may work with a variety of specialists, including: 

  • A medical provider (doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) to talk about health problems 
  • A dietitian to guide eating behaviors 
  • An activity specialist to help your child find their strengths in activity 
  • A psychologist to assist with weight and eating behaviors

What to expect from the Lifestyle Medicine Program

Our providers work to collaboratively set up a plan for weight management with your family. This could include individual visits with the dietitian, exercise classes and group classes.

  • Lifestyle Medicine Program orientation:This is the initial visit for our multidisciplinary weight management program that's offered free of charge at our Anschutz Medical Campus location. The orientation is a group visit for all new patients entering into our Lifestyle Medicine Program. The class will provide an overview of our weight management program and initiate education and goal setting.

    Upon completion of orientation, families will be able to schedule a combined appointment with a medical provider and a dietitian. Patients under 6 years old are not required to attend orientation, but parents or caregivers must be present.

    In the following instances, families are not required to attend orientation, and will be scheduled with a medical provider and dietitian for a combined appointment upon enrollment in the program:

    • Families who live over 60 miles from the hospital's Aurora, CO location

    • Families who live over 60 miles from the hospital's South Campus location in Highlands Ranch, CO

    • Patients who have an urgent medical condition

  • Medical evaluation: This medical evaluation could be related to concerns from your primary care doctor or concerns that you have as a parent. Your child’s first visit will be with a medical provider (physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner). This visit will last approximately one hour and will assess your child’s health related to their weight gain.

    You will need to bring copies of recent labs and growth charts to ensure a complete evaluation. You may also be asked to have your child obtain labs on the day of the visit. This service is offered at our Anschutz Medical Campus and Parker locations.

    Children with medical complications might visit with one of our subspecialists in a specialty clinic.

  • Lifestyle evaluation and nutritional assessment: During your visit, your child will meet with a dietitian – and sometimes an exercise physiologist – to discuss eating, activity, motivation and goal setting. This visit will last one to two hours, and your child should wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes.

  • Weight management plan: 
    Our team will help your family to set up your ongoing plan. This weight management plan might include: 
    • Groups
      • Family weight and wellness group (four-week group)
      • Exercise classes (open gym concept, daily and free)
      • Dietitian visits
    • Individual
      • Medical assessments (Depending on medical complexities, they will occur 2-4 times in one year.)
      • Nutrition
      • Fitness training
      • Weight management pediatric psychologist