HOUSTON (August 01, 2010)

In its commitment to help fight childhood obesity, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital is launching a free pediatric weight management program for the community.

The Memorial Hermann Southeast Pediatric Weight Management Program is a family-based, group behavioral and educational program. The goal is to promote lifelong healthy eating and exercise habits for overweight children, adolescents and their families.

“From the start of the program to graduation and beyond, our team of specialists will be with the families every step of their journey to a healthier new life,” said Sonny Gornek, dietitian at Memorial Hermann Southeast. “ Our program is aimed to educate, counsel and implement new, healthier behaviors for the entire family.”

The program calls for families to meet each week for 6 weeks with the comprehensive team of specialists. Each session is 120 minutes long and is broken down into three segments. During the first segment, the family will be privately weighed and measured. During the second segment, children and parents will be divided into separate groups, and then the families will reconvene in a large group for the last segment. During this time participants will learn to:

  • Identify and avoid high calorie, low nutrition foods;
  • Develop better exercise habits;
  • Reduce sedentary behaviors;
  • Follow a healthy, balanced diet, even in difficult situations like family gatherings, holidays, and parties;
  • And, maintain a healthy weight over the long term.

The participants of this program will be guided by a dedicated team of professionals, including: internal medicine physicians, dietitians, child life specialists, mental health professionals, specially trained nurses, affiliated fitness consultants, and peer support groups. Participants will also receive ongoing support following participation. Upon completion, families will be provided with highly effective motivational, psychological and group support options to help maximize the benefits of the program.

To learn more about the Memorial Hermann Southeast Pediatric Weight Management Program, please visit us at www.memorialhermann.org.