Image: Madeline M. Joseph, M.D.
Madeline M. Joseph, M.D.

Welcome to the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville Division of Pediatric Bariatrics.

Our faculty members guide a team of health care practitioners who are part of the UF Health Pediatric Weight Management Center, which helps children and adolescents tackle obesity, achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and reverse the complications of obesity.

It’s estimated that one out of every five children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 is obese. That equates to about 12.5 million children and adolescents, with minorities being at greater risk. Obesity increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and much more. It can also affect mental and emotional well-being through bullying, social exclusion, poor academic performance and school absenteeism.

Since obesity can be a product of several factors, including genetics, diet, level of physical activity and psychological conditions, the UF Pediatric Weight Management Center operates as a multidisciplinary team dedicated to treating children and adolescents who are obese or overweight. We provide a unique, safe and non-judgmental environment to address and manage the many facets of obesity and its complications.

Our team includes an obesity medicine specialist, a pediatric cardiologist with expertise in lipid management, a licensed clinical psychologist, a clinical dietitian and a certified nurse practitioner. We work closely with families to develop comprehensive, individualized plans and collaborate with faculty across several academic divisions to help patients reach their weight-related goals. Subspecialties include cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, pulmonology and bariatric surgery.

Our team is committed to the well-being of every patient from the initial consultation through every follow-up visit. In addition, our faculty members stay abreast of the latest research and clinical practices related to pediatric care. As such, the weight management center provides great exposure for resident physicians interested in pursuing further training in pediatric obesity from a holistic standpoint.

The center is involved in the national Pediatric Obesity Weight Evaluation Registry, or POWER. This registry contains clinical data from individual comprehensive pediatric weight management centers around the United States for overweight and obese youth. This multisite data set will be used for collaborative research efforts and quality-improvement initiatives.

To date, 33 multidisciplinary pediatric weight management centers in 22 states are enrolled in POWER. We have been among the top three centers in POWER — and No. 1 among smaller centers — in terms of fostering weight loss and decreasing cardiovascular and diabetes risks among patients.

Our team believes it is not about weight, but rather about health and well-being.

We encourage you to explore our site and contact us with any questions you may have.

Madeline M. Joseph, M.D.
Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion; Assistant Chair, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Quality Initiatives; Chief, Division of Pediatric Bariatrics

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