By: Dr. Meghana Samant, Clinical Site Director of Pediatrics & Susan Brokhin, Director of Project Management
Recently, The Legacy Community Health Bissonnet clinic completed a three-month Healthy Lifestyles pilot program for children, a first of its kind at Legacy. The goal of the program was to educate families of our young at-risk patients about the disease process of obesity and how to make sustainable changes in their nutritional behaviors and physical activity.
The 10-week program incorporated visits with a team consisting of a pediatrician, nutritionist, behavior health therapist and a fitness/ wellness specialist. The care teams covered topics such as choosing the right snacks, screen time, sleep, reading food labels, and overeating among others. A multidisciplinary approach directed toward the entire family is essential in bringing about healthy lifestyle changes for patients.
The results of the pilot are encouraging. Families made beneficial changes in the way they shop for food, prepared meals and made time for play. Children ages 8- 12 showed tremendous interest and a desire to learn more about their own health and nutrition.
Currently, Legacy is restructuring the program to include a wider age range, more nutrition appointments and group fitness opportunities to the core program. The program has not been officially approved to move forward, but it is in the final stages of discussion. Legacy is hoping to have a final decision by the end of the summer. This program will allow us to reach out and educate more families in the community, keeping in with the greater goal to drive healthy change in our communities.