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Services + Workshops

The Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) at Floating Hospital for Children offers comprehensive weight management services for children ages 0 to 18 and for families who are ready to make changes to their eating and physical activity habits.

CYW services include:

  • Adolescent Weight Management Program — Teens (ages 11-18) can participate in a two-hour, 10-week structured group program that helps them practice healthy eating and physical activity habits.  Groups are offered in Boston, BrocktonLowellMetroWest and Woburn.
  • Individual/Family Nutrition Counseling — Children (from birth to age 10) and parents meet individually with a registered dietitian to develop a tailored, healthy active living prescription and provide ongoing guidance and support.
  • Nutrition Education Workshops — Caregivers and expectant parents can attend nutrition education workshops throughout the year specific to the age and developmental level of children and adolescents. Classes are free.  Please contact 617-636-3381 to learn more.
  • Family Wellness Program, Healthier Together  Parents and their children (ages 11–18) learn about nutrition, get active and connect with each other in a fun and supportive setting.

Adolescent Weight Management Program

The CYW offers in-depth assessments, a 10-week structured group program for youth, education and support for parents, and open communication between clinicians and the adolescent’s primary care provider. Note that the center does not provide evaluations for surgical treatment of obesity in adolescents.

The CYW program has two parts — a comprehensive assessment visit and, for those eligible, a 10-week structured group program. Parents are encouraged to contact their health insurance providers to determine referral requirements and obtain needed authorization. 

Comprehensive, Assessment Visit for Adolescents

The purpose of the assessment visit is to identify any underlying medical, psychological, or nutritional conditions that could affect weight loss. The visit is about 60 minutes and occurs in the morning. About 30-45 minutes before the visit, patients arrive fasting (no food or beverages except water after 10 pm the night before the appointment) to have blood drawn at the hospital’s lab. The adolescent and parent then meet separately with a medical doctor and psychologist.

The medical doctor contacts each patient by phone within 3 weeks of the assessment visit to share findings from the visit, give suggestions for recommended changes, and discuss participation in the 10-week group-based program.

Most, but not all, adolescents who attend the assessment visit will be eligible to participate in the group program. If an adolescent is not eligible for the group program, the reasons will be discussed with the family and further recommendations given.

Program costs include:

  • Medical doctor and psychologist co-pays at the assessment visit.
  • A $50 administrative fee to participate in the 10-week group program. 

Please contact your insurance company ahead of time to confirm the assessment visit and lab services will be covered as well as the amount of the co-pay, which varies by insurance provider. 

Ten-Week Structured Group Program

The group program occurs after school for two hours. Days and times vary according to program location:

There are two parts to the program:  nutrition/behavior change and physical activity.

Nutrition/Behavior Change Program (One Hour)

Adolescents learn about nutrition, stress reduction, and how to successfully make changes. Topics covered include:

  • Balanced meals and snacks
  • Portion size
  • Healthy beverage choices
  • Eating out
  • Nourishing school lunches
  • On-the-go breakfasts
  • Grocery shopping
  • Label reading
  • Food marketing
  • Mindful eating
  • Stress management
  • Time management
  • Goal setting and problem solving
  • Maintaining weight loss

Classes are fun and interactive with hands-on activities to increase knowledge retention and skill development. Restrictive diets are not prescribed. Instead, the focus is placed on youth to increase nutrition knowledge and problem solving skills—empowering them to make those changes that are important to them. Healthy snacks are provided each week.

Physical Activity Program (One Hour)

Adolescents take part in a variety of fun physical activities at YMCAs located in Chinatown, Brockton, Lowell and MetroWest. All adolescents receive a 10-week membership to the Y. Parents are eligible for a reduced membership rate. Each week youth are introduced to various physical activities such as:

  • Cardiovascular equipment (treadmill, bike, elliptical)
  • Free weights
  • Strength training machines
  • Aerobics class
  • Yoga
  • "Beach" volleyball
  • Floor hockey
  • Fun games, relay races, and obstacle courses

The purpose of the physical activity program is to expose youth to many different types of activities so they feel comfortable engaging in activities on their own. Youth are also taught how to modify activities so they can perform them at home if they do not have access to a health club.

Parent Education and Support

At least one parent/guardian is required to attend the assessment visit — both parents are encouraged to attend if possible. A one-time 90-minute parent education workshop is scheduled during the 10-week group program. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce parents to the nutrition and behavior change concepts being discussed with the youth as well as to assist parents in how to effectively support their son/daughter while they make changes.

Follow-Up Care

Adolescents completing the 10-week group program are eligible to attend the FREE weight maintenance group held monthly on a Saturday from 11 am-noon that include fun, interactive events such as physical activity at the Y, grocery shopping tours, or mall food court "field trips." In addition, they return with one parent/guardian for follow-up visits with the medical doctor or dietitian and a fasting blood draw approximately three months and one year after the 10-week program ends. Co-pays are required for follow-up visits, and although health insurance providers typically cover these visits and lab services, we recommend contacting your insurance company ahead of time to confirm coverage. The CYW team communicates with the adolescent’s primary care physician and encourages patients to do the same to assist with continued weight loss.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call 617-636-3381 or email cyw@tuftsmedicalcenter.org.

 

Individual and Family Nutrition Counseling

Families meet with a registered dietitian to create a tailored nutrition and physical activity plan to meet your unique needs. Follow-up visits are scheduled as needed to praise successful change, provide ongoing guidance, and establish new goals in a supportive and non-judgmental way. Parents are encouraged to contact your health insurance provider to determine referral requirements and obtain needed authorization.

To learn more, please call 617-636-3381 or email cyw@tuftsmedicalcenter.org.