Eating Disorders and Obesity

Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and significant physical, emotional, and social changes. During this time, as bodies change and develop, some adolescents have issues around weight and body image. We can provide evaluation and medical oversight of care for these adolescents.

For evaluation of weight and nutritional disorders, it is essential that for the first appointment you bring with you a copy of the patient's growth curve and recent laboratory results. These should be available from your usual health care provider.

Eating Disorders

Disordered eating and disordered body image, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia, can affect both boys and girls throughout their lives. These complex physical and mental health disorders often require intense, ongoing, and collaborative treatment by a team of professionals including a physician, a mental health care provider (psychologist, social worker, and/or psychiatrist), and a nutritionist. Our physicians are trained to provide the medical oversight of evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. We work closely with therapists and registered dieticians to care for patients and help them restore their health.

An initial medical evaluation for a suspected or known eating disorder is typically a 90-minute appointment during which time we take a detailed medical, family, and social history, review records of growth and laboratory studies, and perform a complete physical exam. After this initial assessment, treatment and follow-up are tailored to the patient's individual needs, but often include brief weekly appointments to monitor weight, vital signs and laboratory tests (when indicated). We spend significant time collaborating with the treatment team to ensure coordination of care for these complex illnesses.

Overweight and Obesity

There is a growing epidemic in this country of overweight and obesity. The goal of treating overweight adolescents is to establish a healthy body and lifestyle, and to prevent the medical complications of obesity. Some overweight teenagers need to lose weight. Others may need to slow the rate of weight gain as they grow. We monitor weight and plan treatments in the context of normal adolescent development.

The medical complications and sequelae, as well as the social ramifications, of overweight are well known. It is our goal to help minimize and resolve when possible the consequences of abnormal weight gain and overweight.

As needed, we collaborate with other medical specialists, nutritionists, and mental health providers to develop a treatment plan to reach a healthy weight while facilitating appropriate growth and pubertal development. We monitor patients with physical exams and laboratory tests to identify and treat high cholesterol and diabetes among other weight-related problems, such as insulin-resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome.