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Healthy Eating with Resources, Options, and Everyday Strategies

The HEROES clinic is dedicated to the treatment of pediatric weight gain and the health risks associated with it. HEROES was developed in response to a community survey on the most common pediatric health issues in Omaha, NE. Did you know that in Douglas County alone there are roughly 30,000 obese and overweight children between the ages of 5-17?*

We are unique in that we are the only medically managed program in the area. We are not a diet program – our focus is pediatric weight management. We aim first, to treat any conditions caused by excess weight; then, to stabilize your child’s weight; and finally, to help your family plan, implement & maintain the healthy lifestyle changes that will work for you on a long-term basis.

• Overall nutrition status evaluation and planning from our Registered Dietitians.
• Behavior modification counseling via Behavioral Health Services.
• Baseline fitness assessment and activity guidance from our Exercise Physiologist.
• Assistance in identifying barriers to success, and support to overcome them from our Social Workers.
• Assessment, Lab Monitoring, Medical Management and Collaboration with Pediatricians & Pediatric Specialists by our team of Medical Providers and Nurses.
• Exclusive access to our fitness and education program conducted in varied community locations.

Weight gain in children affects nearly every body system and can lead to comorbidities, such as diabetes, early heart disease, bone and joint problems, liver problems, obstructive sleep apnea, and poor quality of life. It is important to work with the HEROES multidisciplinary team to assess comorbidities, make referrals to specialists, start on treatment plans and improve your family’s healthy eating and activity routines.

Excess body weight can affect health in many different ways, including but not limited to, effects on:

Cardiovascular: Excess weight and poor nutrition can result in high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, which are risk factors for early heart disease.

Endocrine: Children with excess weight and with a family history of diabetes are at increased risk of developing prediabetes or type II diabetes. Females at pubertal age, carrying excess weight, should be screened for polycystic ovary syndrome.

Gastrointestinal: Poor nutrition and increased intake of unhealthy fats contributes to conditions like gallstones and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Neurological: Children with excess weight can experience a condition called Pseudotumor cerebri which can cause headaches, dizziness and vision disturbances.

Orthopedics: Children with excess weight may present with hip pain, knee pain or limping, an indication of a condition called slipped capital femoral epiphysis. Over time, a heavier than normal body can mean stress on the bones and joints, leading to an increased risk for joint injury and fractures.

Psychology: Children who are overweight or obese may struggle with poor self-esteem, depression, or anxiety. Some children struggle with the development of eating disorders such as binge eating or bulimia.

Pulmonary: Extra weight means a child’s lungs have to work harder to do their job. Children may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or periods of ineffective breathing while sleeping, asthma and/or exercise intolerance.