Luis, 9, talks to counselors about successfully meeting his goals to increase physical activity and make nutritious food choices.
HEALTHY HEARTS is a multi-disciplinary program that is
designed to prevent and treat childhood obesity and related
illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Patients referred to HEALTHY HEARTS receive care and
counseling over the course of six visits, about two – four weeks
apart, with follow-up visits at three and six months after completion
of the program.
Each visit lasts one hour. During the visit, the child and
parent/guardian will meet a physician, as well as one of the team
specialists: a dietitian, exercise specialist or psychologist.
HEALTHY HEARTS staff offer culturally sensitive, individualized
family support and community programs designed to encourage
healthy lifestyle changes.
The program is open to youth between the ages of 2 and 18 who
are obese or overweight. Youth who are normal weight but have a
family risk factors for hyperlipidemia, hypertension or diabetes
are also eligible.
Patients are considered medically obese when their body mass
index, commonly referred to as BMI, is greater than 95% of their
peer in the same age group. Children who fall between the
BMI-for-age in the 85th to 94th percentile are considered
HEALTHY HEARTS is part of the Pediatric Cardiology Medical
Group – East Bay, Inc, which participates in MediCal, CCS,
several Managed MediCal plans and most commercial insurance
plans and medical groups. An authorization is sometimes
required before services can be provided and we will work with
you and your child’s pediatrician to secure the necessary authorization.
Visit 1: Initial Evaluation and Assessment
A healthcare professional builds a relationship with the patient and family. The visit includes a thorough physical exam and establishes program goals.
Visit 2: Nutrition
A registered dietitian discusses healthy eating choices, including current food options and offers an individualized nutrition plan.
Visit 3: Physical Activity
An exercise specialist discusses active living habits and offers exercise prescriptions.
Visit 4: Feelings and Families
A mental health specialist discusses body image and self-esteem, as well as parenting, family dynamics and cultural issues.
Visit 5: Healthy Lifestyle
Families discuss with the dietitian or exercise specialist their progress in self-managing their goals or how to modify them as needed.
Visit 6: Summary Visit
The team and family assess accomplishments and progress toward goals, and develop a plan for sustaining healthy eating and active living habits.
Visits 7 and 8: Follow up
Three and six months to assess healthy lifestyle changes. Patients may be scheduled for additional follow up visits, depending on their progress, insurance/authorization(s) and commitment to the program.
A referral from your child’s pediatrician along with some recent
records and lab work is required for us to schedule your child in
HEALTHY HEARTS. Your pediatrician may have recent lab
results on file so it may not be necessary for your child to have
new lab work done prior to starting HEALTHY HEARTS.
The HEALTHY HEARTS program is available in: