At University of Missouri Health Care, we understand that every child and family has unique challenges to achieving a healthy lifestyle, and our experts are here to help.

Photo of employee and young girl walking at Women's and Children's Hospital.

Research has shown that childhood obesity can lead to a number of other medical conditions, so helping your family create healthier lifestyle habits is important for everyone's health.

There are a number of things that contribute to childhood obesity. Our pediatric weight management team can help you identify areas for behavioral improvement and offer options to help your child achieve a healthy weight.

Options for Pediatric Weight Management

Our approach to pediatric weight management starts with Tigers on Track, a specialized pediatric and adolescent program designed to help your child and family develop lifelong healthier habits. The main focus of Tigers on Track is to prevent and treat childhood obesity by increasing awareness about healthy eating and physical activity while improving self-esteem.

What to expect at your first visit

At your first appointment, you and your child will meet with members of our team for comprehensive wellness evaluation.

  • A doctor or nurse practitioner will discuss your goals and expectations and ask about your eating, exercise and other habits. We will also discuss your child's medical history.
  • A dietitian will complete an in-depth nutrition evaluation and help you create a food plan that incorporates healthier food choices and habits to suit your family situation.
  • A physical therapist will evaluate your child’s balance, heart endurance, range of motion and strength and develop a personalized activity program for your child.
  • A social worker may also meet with your family to provide additional community resources.

Our team's goal is to create a tailored plan that will help your child and family develop healthy habits that will last.

In addition to childhood obesity, many of the children we help face other weight-related conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes and issues with digestion, hormones and growth. Our pediatric weight management teams work with other pediatric specialists to make sure your child receives the best care possible.

Who is Eligible for Tigers on Track

Tigers on Track is open to children ages 2 to 18. We encourage the entire family to participate, including other children and adults in the family such as parents, siblings, grandparents as well as child care providers.

The goals of pediatric weight management program, Tigers on Track, are to promote healthy lifestyles for children and families by sharing information about nutrition and appropriate physical activity. If you have tried this approach without results, our team also offers both nonsurgical, like medication-assisted treatment, and surgical weight loss for eligible adolescents.

Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery

If your adolescent has not been successful in losing weight through lifestyle changes, or if he or she is suffering from weight-related health problems, our pediatric weight management team can discuss whether weight loss surgery is the right treatment choice.

Our adolescent weight loss surgery team includes a psychologist, dietitian, pediatric and adult surgeons, social workers, and more. Our goal is to ensure surgery is the right choice for your teen and to walk you through the process — from evaluation through post-surgery care.

Our surgeons perform the gastric sleeve procedure on adolescents struggling with weight loss. Adolescents must be seen and evaluated through the Tigers on Track program to be referred to our adolescent weight loss surgery team.

Research and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is essential to better understanding health and disease. It also helps us adopt the newest treatment protocols to provide state-of-the-art care to our patients. During your clinic visit, the research study staff may approach you and your child to explain our various research activities. Your participation in any research study is voluntary. It will not affect your treatment in this clinic.