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Winthrop University Hospital

Healthy KIDS Program

A comprehensive weight management program for children & teens

Obesity in children is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions, with approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents overweight.

Overweight children and teens - like overweight adults - are at significant risk for many serious health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gall stones, breathing and sleep disorders, orthopedic difficulties, and serious emotional problems stemming from devastating social discrimination. In addition, overweight children have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults, who are at even greater risk for such life-threatening conditions as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

The Healthy KIDS Program is more than a weight-loss program. It combines nutritional guidance, physical exercise and behavior modification to facilitate successful and sustainable life style changes for overweight children, adolescents and their families.


Using a self-directed approach, restrictive diets or very low-calorie diets are avoided. No more than a one-pound loss per week is recommended. The program:
  • Teaches children, teens and their parents to modify meal plans without depriving them of food choices
  • Incorporates physical activities into daily lives
  • Identifies and helps children and teens identify and deal with feelings about their weight and body image
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Enhances communication skills

Parental Involvement

Parental involvement in the program is imperative. In addition to learning how to improve parenting and communication skills, they are taught how to support their child's weight-loss and health enhancement efforts by improving family eating habits and activity patterns.

The Team

With expertise in children's weight problems, the most current information about obesity and nutrition, and a deep understanding of how difficult it is to lose weight, the Healthy KIDS Program Team includes:
  • Board-certified pediatric endocrinologists
  • Nurses with advanced training in pediatric endocrinology
  • Certified registered dietitians
  • Certified Shapedown instructors


  • Evaluations by a pediatric endocrinologist and specially trained nurse
  • Counseling and nutritional evaluations by a certified registered dietitian
  • Individual and age-appropriate group counseling sessions to foster group cohesiveness and successful outcomes
  • Meal planning instruction
  • Individualized exercise programs
  • Opportunities to explore feelings and issues about weight and body image

Group, Individual & Follow-up Sessions

  • Group sessions -- for children, teens and parents -- are formatted into a 10-week series. Each weekly session, conducted by a certified instructor, lasts 2.5 hours. Attendance by a parent is mandatory. Prior to beginning participation in group sessions, the family is evaluated by a pediatric endocrinologist to screen for complications of obesity, as well as for psychological problems that may contraindicate the patient's involvement in a group program. Medical clearance to attend the program and perform physical exercise is required, as is a consent signed by a parent. Before and after participation, the youngster receives nutritional assessments from a registered dietitian.
    Gaming activities and effective weight management techniques, including nutritional guidance, exercise and behavior modification strategies create a communal and supportive "learning-is-fun" environment that provides a forum for participants to manage their weight and build healthier lives.
  • Individual Sessions are presented in 12-weekly segments. Each session, also conducted by a certified instructor, lasts one hour. These meetings offer the same combination of nutritional guidance, exercise and behavior modification strategies as the group sessions.
  • Follow-up Sessions are offered for a full year following participation in either group or individual sessions.
For more information about the Healthy KIDS Program, call: 516-663-3919.

Suite 210
120 Mineola Boulevard
Mineola, NY 11501

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Winthrop-University Hospital
259 First Street | Mineola NY 11501 | 516-663-0333

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