Healthy Lifestyle Clinic Offers Weight Management Program for Children and Teens

Healthy Lifestyle Clinic Offers Weight Management Program for Children and Teens

A Q&A with the head of the Healthy Lifestyle Clinic, a weight management program for children and teens with obesity and obesity-related health complications.

2 minute read

Q & A with Joan Han, MD, Professor and Chief, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Pediatrics

What's the Healthy Lifestyle Clinic?

The Healthy Lifestyle Clinic is a weight management program for children and teens with obesity and obesity-related health complications. Patients receive coordinated care, all under one roof, from a team of providers that includes a dietitian, exercise physiologist, social worker, nurse practitioner, endocrinologist, cardiologist, hepatologist, and adolescent bariatric surgeon. We also have a dedicated psychologist, dentist, ophthalmologist, and sleep medicine pulmonologist on our team who work closely with us for direct referrals from our clinic. Our goal is to empower children and their families to lead healthier lifestyles through improved nutrition, physical activity, sleep quality, and emotional well-being. In addition to lifestyle modification, we offer weight loss medications, and for teens with the most severe obesity and comorbidities, bariatric surgery (laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy) is available.

Besides obesity, what other conditions are managed in the Healthy Lifestyle Clinic?

Our team of subspecialists can manage not only obesity but also its complications, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fatty liver disease, steatohepatitis, and obstructive sleep apnea. We also provide comprehensive care for children with genetic obesity disorders such as Alström, Bardet-Biedl, Prader-Willi, ROHHAD, Smith-Magenis, and WAGR/11p deletion syndromes, and patients with leptin pathway disorders, including LEP, LEPR, POMC, PCSK1, MC4R, BDNF, and NTRK2 genetic variants.

What are some innovative programs in the Healthy Lifestyle Clinic?

We invite all our patients to participate in research if they are interested. We're building a biorepository of genetic and biochemical samples, and we are conducting clinical trials and studies in animal models to improve personalized therapy by targeting the genetic, behavioral, and environmental determinants of metabolic health unique to each person. In the community, we are planning group exercise programs and cooking classes. The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting challenges, but we are working on technology-based strategies to offer these activities safely.

What other programs can we look forward to hearing more about from Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Mount Sinai?

In addition to our Healthy Lifestyle Clinic, we have created and designed clinics to assist our entire patient population. These clinics include the Bone Health Clinic directed by Cemre Robinson, MD; the Comprehensive Diabetes Care Center directed by Meredith Wilkes, MD; the Comprehensive Sexual Development Clinic and the Adrenoleukodystrophy Clinic, both directed by Mabel Yau, MD; and the Pediatric Growth Center, directed by Robert Rapaport, MD.

Why vote for Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospital rankings?

  • We have the top-ranked Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes program in New York City according to U.S. News & World Report.

  • Our Pediatric Diabetes Program is state-of-the-art.

  • Our Comprehensive Growth Center focuses on growth hormone deficiency and babies who are small for gestational age, and offers access to studies of weekly growth hormone treatment.

  • Our Healthy Lifestyle Clinic offers pediatric obesity management by a multidisciplinary team, including nutrition, exercise, social work, psychology, endocrinology, cardiology, hepatology, pulmonary, and bariatric surgery.

  • We offer a pioneering multidisciplinary adrenoleukodystrophy program featuring care representatives from metabolism, genetics, endocrinology, and neurology.

  • Our bone disorders clinic provides comprehensive care of calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism disorders.