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CHEO Opens Healthy Active Living Centre for Obese Children

Ottawa- CHEO is please to announce the official unveiling of the Healthy Active Living Centre, a pediatric regional assessment and treatment centre for children and youth with complex severe obesity.

It is estimated that there are over 12,000 children and youth living in Eastern Ontario with complex severe obesity, defined as all children and youth under 18 years of age who have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than the 95th percentile for their age and gender. 

This new centre will allow CHEO to treat obese children through one coordinated and patient-specific plan of care which will include on-site specialists including as a Pediatric Endocrinologist, Key Worker (Advanced Practice Nurse), Psychologist, Social Worker, Exercise Physiologist and a Dietitian.

The Centre will provide a family-centred, interprofessional approach that spans multiple subspecialties and focuses on the whole child and his/her family, including physical, mental, and social aspects of functioning. Program highlights include:

§           A Key Worker to act as the single contact point for care coordination

§           assessment of children and youth with complex severe obesity for bariatric services;

§           pre and post-operative care for children and youth with complex severe obesity undergoing bariatric surgery.

§           Family-Based Behavioural Modification Program which relies on and includes a family intensive lifestyle intervention.

§           motivational and readiness interventions, increased physical activity, healthful eating habits, improving self-esteem and body image.

§           An evaluation process which will look at the nutritional, physical activity, fitness, lifestyle, psychological and medical outcomes and provide the basis for future treatment plans

In addition the centre will:


·        promote and build capacity among community providers for the care of children and youth with complex severe obesity and for those who may be at risk of developing complex severe obesity

·        work in collaboration with community partners and organizations that provide related services to support seamless transitions between health care providers.

·        continue to work in collaboration with the CHEO Research Institute’s Healthy Active Living and Obesity group (HALO) to provide a venue for continued clinical and epidemiological research in treatment and prevention of pediatric obesity and continue to educate and inform the public about the growing epidemic of childhood obesity

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