About Mercy: Adolescent Weight Management Program - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

About Mercy: Adolescent Weight Management Program

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

In 2011 a Lucas County Health Assessment identified obesity as the leading health issue for children in Lucas County. In response to this data the Mercy's Center for Weight Management worked closely with the University of Michigan's Mott Children's Hospital to implement a research based program that focused not only on weight loss, but all weight-related health issues; including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, respiratory complications, and sleep apnea.

The Mercy Adolescent Weight Management Program is a 6-month program tailored to meet the needs of teens and their families. The program includes a multi-disciplinary approach with medical, behavioral, nutrition, social services, and exercise professionals. The Mercy Adolescent Weight Management Program serves participants ages 11-18 and requires each teen participant and their family to commit to two hours each week of group exercise, nutrition, and behavior groups. Parents or guardians attend both nutrition and behavior groups and are expected to lead by example by food logging and exercising along with their teen to demonstrate support. It is a premise of our program that in order for a teen participant to be successful in healthy lifestyle changes it is important that the entire family be educated and practice the new behaviors as well.

Participants are referred to the program by area physicians and word of mouth from former and current program participants. Teens will complete a comprehensive health assessment to verify that they meet the criteria for participation and to establish benchmarks for measuring progress. We also meet with the teens and their families to set goals and establish rewards for meeting goals and making positive behavioral changes such as keeping a food journal, tracking increased physical activity, and working to give up things like sugary drinks. After completing the program, we help families continue to develop healthy lifestyle habits by offering a Phase 2 program.

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