Barriers and Comorbidities from a Pediatric Multidisciplinary Tertiary Care Obesity Program

Background: The UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight Clinic (Fit Clinic) is a multidisciplinary tertiary care weight management program tailored to meet the needs of overweight and obese pediatric patients who have not met their goals in the primary care setting. The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to evaluate the barriers to healthy lifestyles and common comorbidities among patients seeking care at the Fit Clinic.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all the patients who attended the Fit Clinic between April 2008 and October 2011 (n=115). Weights, heights, blood pressures, laboratory values, dates of birth, gender, dates of visit, and self-identified comorbidities and barriers to physical activity and healthful eating were collected.

Results: Patients identified an average of 5.8 comorbid systems at their first clinic visit. The most commonly identified barriers to healthy eating were lack of selfdiscipline (63%), that dieting “is hard work” (55%), and dislike of healthy foods (30%). There was a significant improvement (p<0.05) in BP after an average of three clinic visits across all patients with elevated BP. A majority of patients demonstrated either a decrease or stabilization in BMI.

Conclusion: This study adds evidence to support the recommendation to provide a multidisciplinary team approach to the care of morbidly obese pediatric patients not meeting their goals in a primary care setting by addressing barriers to health.


Christine Thang, Margaret Whitley, Nilufar Izadpanah, Daniel DeUgarte and Wendy Slusser*

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