The Pediatric Specialty Center Presents “Shapedown”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and overall well-being.

To help those struggling with being overweight or obese, the Pediatric Specialty Center, a member of Barnabas Health Medical Group, a network of primary and multispecialty care physicians aligned with Barnabas Health, is pleased to offer Shapedown. Shapedown is the nation’s leading weight management program for children, teens and their families. The programs are held quarterly, with the next program starting January 15 at the Pediatric Specialty Center located at 375 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Suite 105 in West Orange.

Held each Thursday from 5:45 to 8 p.m. over a 10-week period, the course promotes changes in exercise, food habits, self-esteem and weight, helping young people to take charge of their own weight management. Each course consists of weekly two-hour meetings to give participants basic Shapedown training as well as a chance for children, teens and parents to meet and receive support from others facing similar challenges.

During the meetings, facilitators will touch upon topics such as supporting families in creating an active lifestyle, a healthy diet and teach them about common underlying factors that may have contributed to a child’s excessive appetite for food and inactive pursuits.

Participants will also learn strategies to help deal with teasing, bullying or peer pressure and to feel better about their bodies and themselves. The program will help parents communicate better and implement changes in their family’s lifestyle. The program will also aid parents in letting go of fear, guilt and frustration about their child’s weight.

The Shapedown program changes the lifestyles of the entire family, enabling all family members to see weight loss and improvements in their own diets and activity levels. Weekly lessons supplement classroom learning to reinforce lessons.

Cost is $150 per child, which includes all books and materials. Registration is required by contacting program facilitators Leslie Killeen, MS, RD, CDE or Judy Epstein, LSW by calling 973-322-6900.