STOP program – weight management for kids
STOP taking on pounds. START living a healthier lifestyle.
STOP is a weight management program for school-aged children and adolescents. By learning more about eating right, exercising, and choosing healthy lifestyles, children and adolescents can reach their weight management goals.
STOP improves physical and emotional health for the whole family.
STOP is a program developed to guide and support children and their families as they cope with weight management issues. This includes being overweight, gaining more weight than your health professional recommends, choosing unhealthy foods for snacks and meals, and not exercising -all issues that can lead to long-term physical and emotional problems.
This program helps change the future for your children. For 12 weeks, participants ages 7 to 17 attend weekly sessions with at least one parent. In an outpatient group setting, health professionals work with families to understand how to manage weight with nutrition, exercise, and behavior management. With the guidance of our health professionals and the support of a positive environment, your child can become physically and emotionally healthier.
Nutrition – Eating Right, Reaching Goals.
A dietician will work with your family to develop customized nutrition plans. By following the plan, participants consume fewer calories while eating healthy foods. To create this nutrition plan, the dietician will walk you through these nutrition basics:
- Eating every meal, especially breakfast
- Making wise food choices
- Portioning food
- Increasing fruit and vegetables in the family’s diet
- Distinguishing physical hunger from psychological hunger
- Establishing an environment supportive of healthy eating habits
With the customized nutrition plan, families can reach their weight management goals while feeling healthier and more energized.
Exercise – Increasing Fitness, Feeling Good.
The program will also address the importance of exercise with your family and design a program that meets the unique needs of your child or adolescent. We’ll begin with a comprehensive exercise evaluation, and then prescribe a training program that adjusts as your child loses or maintains weight to increase their overall fitness. In addition to at-home exercises and activities, each session will engage participants in moderate-intensity exercise – all of which are fun activities and encourage free play.
Behavior Management – Promoting Health in the Family.
For this part of the program, families will learn how to become aware of their eating and activity behaviors, gain control over these behaviors, and choose eating and exercise habits that promote long-term health. Participants will begin by learning what behaviors trigger unhealthy eating habits, then work with one of our health professionals to set goals and develop strategies for building a healthier lifestyle. This includes:
- Keeping records of exercise and food selection
- Setting and keeping limits on eating habits
- Substituting unhealthy habits with positive behaviors
- Being healthy role models for the family
- Rewarding healthy behaviors with social praise and appropriate incentives
By promoting healthy lifestyles as a family, children can achieve their weight management goals while building self-esteem and improving their health.
The program has an initial one-time assessment fee that will be billed to your insurance company or Medicaid. The cost of the program is underwritten by Reid Health Foundation.
The STOP Program is a result of the efforts of the Whitewater Valley Childhood Obesity Task Force, a group that includes physicians, school nurses, dietitians, pediatric nurse practitioners, and wellness, fitness, and youth services professionals.
Angelica’s parents were concerned when she gained 25 pounds in one year—and so was her doctor. In addition to being overweight, she was showing early warning signs of Type 2 diabetes. Her doctor recommended Stop Taking on Pounds (STOP), a 12-week class at Reid Hospital that has helped many children better understand the basics of weight management and live healthier lives.
Angelica attended the class with her mother, and realized immediately how much she had to learn. “The class taught me what kind of foods I should eat and how big my portions should be,” she says. “I eat more vegetables now and way less junk food.”
Although she doesn’t love to exercise, Angelica definitely sees the benefits of an active lifestyle. “We exercised in class and had to do physical activity during the week,” she says. “By the end, I was able to jump higher and stretch my muscles more.”
Angelica has maintained most of her newfound healthy habits, and she hasn’t gained any weight in 2011—a major accomplishment for this once sedentary 11-year-old. Even her doctor is impressed!
Allison and Naedeine Stanley
The Stanley family has made a lot of positive changes since Allison (age 11) and Naedeine (age 8) enrolled in STOP, from trying new vegetables to playing tennis together.
“One of my cousin’s kids did the STOP program a few years ago, and I felt like it could help my daughters, too,” says the girls’ mother, Andrea. “For us, the issues included choosing healthy foods, eating the right amount of food and getting enough exercise.”
Andrea learned a lot during the class, including how to ensure that her family gets enough nutrition from all food groups over the course of the day. She’s kept the girls active through swim lessons, bike riding and tennis. “Before, if someone told me to get exercise, it was like ‘no, thank you!’” Allison says. “But I found out I like riding my bike and walking around the neighborhood.”
By the end of the class, both girls increased their fitness level and decreased their body mass index. Asked whether she’s glad she took part in STOP, Allison responds with an emphatic yes. “I feel better about myself now,” she adds. “More confident and happy.”
For more information, to ask questions, or register for a class, please call our diabetes educators at (765) 983-3423.