The HAND Pathway: Winning the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

The HAND Pathway: Winning the Fight Against Childhood Obesity


Today, about one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese. Among children, obesity causes a broad range of health problems, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels. There are also psychological effects of obesity on children including low self-esteem, negative body image, and depression. Having excess weight at a young age has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood.

Childhood obesity is defined as a body mass index greater than the 95th%ile for age. This is determined using accurate growth measurements and plotting of height and weight. Approximately 17 percent of children in the US are obese. These children are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes varies from person to person and may include a combination of diet and exercise, oral medication and insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be reversible by taking an active role to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and follow dietary recommendations.

 What is the Health and Nutrition Direction HAND Pathway?

The Health and Nutrition Direction (HAND) Pathway is Endocrine Kid’s approach for managing weight gain and obesity in children and adolescents. We offer tools to help families achieve lifestyle changes directed at slowing weight gain or promoting weight loss. Our HAND Pathway clinicians will determine the appropriate goals for the child based on evaluation of age, growth velocity and rate of weight gain.

At Endocrine Kids, we are sensitive to the psycho-social needs of our young patients and believe that success comes from a family-centered team approach. Our goal is to provide customized medicine and individualized guidance to help patients achieve their weight goals. We believe that incentives can be a powerful motivator for children to change life style habits and incorporate them into goal setting.

The HAND Pathway includes:

· Private evaluation and ongoing management by our medical provider who specializes in childhood obesity and metabolic diseases

· Consultation with our pediatric dietitian

· Lab evaluation on site, if necessary

· Treatment of obesity-related disorders including metabolic syndrome, glucose intolerance, diabetes, PCOS, etc.

Why the HAND Pathway is NOT a program.

Endocrine Kids believes that weight management in children and adolescents requires ongoing guidance and encouragement to make lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to patients as is often seen in weight programs, as every diet does not work for everyone.

The Hand Pathway takes a goal-oriented approach based on the patient’s physiological needs, such as; exercise programs, calorie reduction, and carbohydrate reduction. We encourage families to join us on the pathway towards excellent health, as the HAND Pathway is designed to teach the necessary skills needed, through motivation and incentives, to achieve our patient’s long-term and short-term goals.

This often cannot be accomplished in a set number of visits. The HAND Pathway works with you to set and reach goals at a pace that you feel is effective.

For more information about the HAND Pathway or obesity, call Endocrine Kids at (248) 347-3344 or request an appointment online.