Achieving a healthy lifestyle

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Health optimization services

Our dedicated team works on creating a partnership between family members and health care providers to help you take attainable steps towards a healthy lifestyle and weight. In the process, we honor the strengths, cultures and traditions that help create a successful and positive environment for your family. Before your family visits health optimization services you will want to be sure that you feel ready to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Resources for families and referring physicians

Our comprehensive care includes, but is not limited to:

  • Assessing pediatric patients up to the age of 18 for reasons for excessive weight gain 
  • Treating childhood obesity and complications through team-based weight management 
  • Treating pediatric cholesterol/lipid abnormalities with lifestyle intervention and medical management when necessary 
  • Treatment of conditions for which healthy lifestyle and/or weight management is the best evidence-based treatment 
  • Partnering with other appropriate pediatric medicine specialists when necessary 
  • Offering counseling services for patients in weight management with mental health needs

For physicians

Lipid screening protocol

The Lipid Screening Protocol PDF provides information for primary care physicians treating pediatric patients.

Health optimization services - What you need to know

The Health Optimization Services - What You Need to Know PDF provides information that physicians give patient families who are referred to health optimization services.

For families

Choose My Plate

The Choose My Plate website provides information to help advance and promote dietary guidance for all Americans.

Food diary
A Food Diary helps patients track their food intake. English and Spanish versions are available.
Physical activity recommendations

These Physical Activity Recommendations offer evidence-based guidance to help Americans maintain or improve their health through physical activity. Healthy Living - Healthy Living website offers resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics about helping children lead healthy lives.

Achieving a healthy lifestyle

During your visit, you may meet with a registered dietitian, social worker, exercise physiologist, psychologist or pediatrician to create attainable steps for a healthier lifestyle and weight. Our multidisciplinary team helps your family explore essential aspects of making changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle for lasting success. 

After new patients have their initial assessment visit they will have frequent treatment visits to review progress and assess goals. The typical treatment course lasts about nine to 12 months with consistent appointments. Follow-up visits occur every three to six months as needed.

What to bring to your appointment
  • Your child and family members who will be supporting the patient throughout treatment 
  • Guardianship papers, if applicable 
  • ID and insurance cards
What to expect at your first visit
  • Determination of family’s goals and priorities 
  • Information about community resources related to patient and family’s expressed needs 
  • Working as a family and providing support as a parent guardian/caregiver
What to expect during comprehensive treatment
  • Setting family-centered goals using the framework of Healthy Counts and focusing on lifestyle changes 
  • Parents or guardians are expected to participate and provide support 
  • The team will help you address and overcome barriers to treatment adherence 
  • Treatment does not include free gym membership, restrictive diet plans, or workouts during the appointments

Meet our team

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I work to discover reasons for weight gain and identify a path toward better health.

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Pediatric Psychologist

I provide support in identifying and overcoming barriers to making health behavior changes.

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Exercise Physiologist

I help explore achievable ways to be active at home and in the community to increase daily exercise.

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Medical Social Worker

I help families put healthy habits in place, connect patients to mental health and other resources.

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Registered Dietitian

I provide families nutrition education and the tools and resources to implement dietary changes successfully

Healthy Counts for Kids

We are dedicated to improving the health and lives of children and families. Use “Healthy Counts,” our nine recommended health tips, encouraged by all health educators at Spectrum Health, to create a health routine you and your kids can count on.

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We don’t have all the answers. But, we are actively searching for them. The Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Health Optimization Services team is a national leader in research related to children with weight gain concerns and associated problems. We invite each new patient to be involved in research so we can learn from them to always provide the best and latest care. We partner with other leading research centers, medical schools and hospitals including Michigan State University and the National Collaborative on Child Obesity Research, which is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture. The goal of all of our research is to discover more about why certain children gain weight differently than others and how best to help them achieve better health. Our team helps lead the national childhood obesity prospective patient registry, the Pediatric Obesity Weight Evaluation Registry, which includes more than 30 pediatric obesity treatment centers working together to find answers to what works best for patients. Currently our site is testing the use of telemedicine as a way to stay connected to our patients between visits. 

We also want to help find ways to prevent children from developing obesity. We’ve partnered with the Kohl’s Cares Foundation to develop our Healthy Counts program, the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality in Collaborate for a Healthy Weight, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in testing features of Bright Futures.