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Children - Childhood Obesity

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Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression. One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the diet and exercise habits of your entire family. Treating and preventing childhood obesity helps protect the health of your child now and in the future. Below you will find resources and referral information. In addition to reviewing these materials, you should talk to your doctor about whether counseling (also sometimes called psychotherapy) might be helpful.

Counseling Services

  • To access individual or family counseling using your health insurance benefits, call the “mental health benefits” number on your insurance card for referral to providers who accept your insurance. You can also access the website for your behavioral health insurance carrier to search for providers in your area and with the specialties you require.
  • If you are covered by Medi-Cal and you live in Sacramento County, contact the Mental Health Access Team at 916.875.1055 to access counseling or psychiatry services. The after-hours number is 888.881.4881.
  • Visit Sacramento County Children's Mental Health Services

Pediatric Health Lifestyles Program

  • The Sutter Children's Center, Sacramento provides a medically sound, nutritionally balanced approach to weight management customized for each child.
  • Patients referred to the Pediatric Healthy Lifestyles Program receive a medical assessment before being put on any weight control or exercise program.
  • Note: Mercy Medical Group patients require a referral from their primary care doctor to participate in this program.
  • Visit Pediatric Health Lifestyles Program
  • Call (916) 262-9132 for more information.

Let's Move! Childcare

  • Let's Move! Childcare is for you, too. Use our resources at home or to talk with your child care providers about their programs.
  • Help your family eat more healthy, get your kids moving, limit screen time and get breastfeeding support.
  • Featured Resource: "GO SMART" app: a "coach in your pocket" that showcases fun physical activities for children up to age five.
  • Visit Let's Move! Childcare

  • Articles and information for parents about the causes and treatment options for childhood obesity.
  • This site is provided in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Visit

Mayo Clinic: Childhood Obesity