Understanding how to help children with severe obesity – and the health challenges that often come with it – can be incredibly difficult for dietitians, mental health professionals, and families alike.
On this episode of The Nourished Child, I’m joined by dietitian Leslie Mattimore and psychologist Amanda Roth from Boston Children’s Hospital to talk about how they work with children ages two to twenty to help them reverse obesity and its attendant conditions.
Leslie and Amanda are part of the hospital’s Optimal Weight for Life Program, also known as OWL, which was founded in 1996 by Dr. David Ludwig.
They combine their skills with other members of their interdisciplinary team to treat the nutritional, medical, and psychological causes and effects of being overweight at a young age, and work together to build healthy habits with children and their families.
“This isn’t about 'we want their body to change;' it’s really about health, and helping them focus on the behaviors around health that make them feel good.” - Amanda Rauf Click To Tweet
Leslie, Amanda and I talk about common conditions they see in their patients, what they recommend right away in terms of small dietary and lifestyle changes, and some of the myths about nutrition they see patients struggling with.
We discuss some of the challenges children and their families face in staying motivated and changing their habits, and Leslie and Amanda share their advice for parents who might have a child that’s overweight.
What You’ll Learn about Optimal Weight:
- What the OWL program does and Leslie and Amanda’s unique roles on their team.
- How Leslie and Amanda approach families who have been severely disappointed or let down by previous attempts to improve a child’s weight.
- Why Leslie’s go-to first recommendation for families is often to cut out sugary drinks.
- Why Amanda places so much emphasis on understanding a family’s stress levels and their relationship with eating and food.
- The typical nutrition education that they provide to families through the OWL process.
- How they debunk some common myths about healthy and unhealthy foods and habits.
- How Amanda addresses body image, self-esteem, and potentially risky eating habits in patients.
- Their advice for parents with a heavier child or children.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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- Leslie Mattimore | The Guided Bite
- Amanda Rauf | Email
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) at Boston Children’s Hospital
- Dr. David Ludwig
- Always Hungry?: Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently by David Ludwig
- Article: Teenage Weight Gain: What You Can Do
- Article: 9 Simple, Non-Diet Weight Loss Tips for Kids and Teens
- TNC 008: Kids & Weight: Prevention, Treatment and Acceptance
- TNC 010: How Play Therapy Can Help Your Child
- TNC 026: How to Raise a Mindful Eater
- TNC 054: How to Help (and Not Hurt) the Heavy Kid
- The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success by Jeff Olson
- Parent Savers Podcast
- Parents On Demand podcast network
- Jill’s Programs
- If you’d like to share your Let’s Get Real story, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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