Implementation of recommended treatment for children in weight management programs: Lessons from the stay in treatment study sites.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2024.107949


OBJECTIVES: Pediatric obesity remains a public health crisis in the United States, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are recommended guidelines for multidisciplinary care, but they remain challenging to implement, even in tertiary care weight management programs. The aim of this analysis is to describe the implementation of these recommendations among four pediatric weight management programs in the United States.

METHODS: This report capitalizes on a convenience sample of programs participating in the Stay In Treatment (SIT) Study, a multicenter study to address attrition among pediatric weight management programs in tertiary care, academic institutions in diverse geographic locations. The programs were compared regarding structure, program offerings, and funding support.

RESULTS: The four programs were interdisciplinary, offered individual and group treatment options, and were family-based. A range of clinicians provided interventions with nutrition, physical activity, behavioral and psychosocial components. Anti-obesity pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery were offered, when appropriate. None of the programs were self-sustaining; they required institutional and philanthropic support to provide recommended, comprehensive treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Ongoing state and national advocacy are needed in the US to create consistent coverage for private and public insurance plans, so that high-risk children can have access to recommended treatment.

Journal Title

Preventive medicine



First Page


Last Page



Guidelines; Health behavior; Healthy lifestyle; Pediatric obesity; Pharmacotherapy; Weight management


Grants and funding

Library Record