We have just launched a Weight Management Program at PPA.  Dr. Faccenda, Dr. Dolha, and Kate, CRNP have teamed up to provide consults and long-term management of children with abnormal weight gain. The program includes an individualized care plan and a family-centered approach to treat and manage childhood obesity.  Read below to learn more about obesity and help determine if your child is at risk!  Please call the front desk for appointment details.


  • In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has at least doubled and adolescent obesity has quadrupled.
    • Children ages 6-11: The percentage of obesity has risen from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012.
    • Adolescents ages 12-19: The percentage of obesity has risen from 5% in 1980 to almost 21% in 2012.
    • 20% of children ages 2-5 are overweight or obese.
  • Being overweight and obese is affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.
  • Children and adolescents who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are 5x more likely than normal weight children to be overweight or obese as adults.
    • Short term effects of obesity:  Bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, social, and psychological problems
    • Long term effects of obesity: Heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and cancers.
  • A BMI >85% is classified as overweight.
  • A BMI >95% is classified as obese.

WHAT WE KNOW (Hassink, 2014)

  • Children are not eating enough fruits and vegetables (Recommendation 4-5 servings/day).
  • Vegetables children do eat are usually the starchy ones (potatoes and corn).
  • Many consume sugary drinks, cereal, and snacks on a daily basis.
  • Children sleep less than the recommended amount.
  • Children spend more time in front of a screen than other generations.
  • 60-75% of 1-2 year olds consumed dessert, ice cream, and/or candy once/day.


  • Limit consumption of sugary sweetened beverages
  • Eat breakfast daily
  • Limit eating out
  • Limit portion sizes
  • Get 1 hour or more of physical activity every day
  • Do not use food as a reward, comfort, or relief of boredom
  • Watch cues for fullness
  • Have structured meal time- no grazing
  • Be consistent will all caregivers throughout the day in terms of diet and play activity.  Older caregivers tend to be more inactive.

THOUGHTS ABOUT TV (Hassink, 2014)

  • Food is the most commonly advertised product on children’s TV
  • 90% of children <2 watch TV regularly.
  • By age 5, the average child has seen more than 4,000 TV commercials for food annually.
  • During Saturday morning cartoons, children see an average of one food ad every 5 minutes. Up to 95% of these food ads are for foods with poor nutritional value.
  • Commercial viewing is significantly associated with higher BMI and has a stronger effect on children <7 years old.
  • Try non-commercial viewing TV viewing such as DVDs or educational programming.
  • TV should be limited
    • Recommendation is no TV for children <2 and <2 hours of TV/day for children >2 years old.
  • Remove TV from child’s bedroom or sleeping area.


  1. Eating a family dinner 6-7x/week.
  2. Obtaining >10.5 hours of nighttime sleep.
  3. Limiting screen time to 2 hours or less/day.



Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC). (2014, February 27). Childhood obesity facts. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm

Hassink, S. (April, 2014). The state of pediatric obesity. PowerPoint presentation at the PA MHI spring conference on pediatric obesity. Grantville, PA. 

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