The Adolescent Wellness Clinic cares for youth ages 12 to 21 who want to make changes to improve their health and who:

  • Have concerns about being overweight
  • Are overweight — have a body mass index (BMI) between the 85th and 95th percentiles
  • Are obese — have a BMI greater than the 95th percentile
  • Have conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or joint pain that may be associated with being overweight

The clinic is one part of Seattle Children’s comprehensive Obesity Program, focused on preventing and treating obesity. The Obesity Program offers resources that every family can use for healthy eating and activity.

If you wonder if your teen is overweight, talk with their primary care provider or another health provider trained in childhood and teen overweight. The provider can:

  • Calculate your teen’s BMI
  • Explain what BMI means in relation to your teen’s health
  • Refer you to the Adolescent Wellness Clinic or other Seattle Children’s clinics or programs that can help your teen with lifestyle, weight and health, such as Nutrition

Why Choose Seattle Children’s?

  • The goal of the Adolescent Wellness Clinic is to improve your teen’s long-term health and quality of life. We do this by supporting your teen and family to make positive lifestyle and behavior changes. Rather than emphasize weight, we help your teen set and achieve health and wellness goals based on their motivations, interests and strengths.

  • Although we talk about food choices and eating patterns, our focus is not on diet only. We look at the medical, nutritional, social, physical and emotional aspects of weight gain in your teen so we can tailor care to them. We try to understand what factors may affect your teen’s success and help you address any challenges.

  • Specialists from the Adolescent Medicine team — medical care providers, nutritionists, fitness specialists, social workers and others — work together to assess your teen’s needs, make a plan that is right for your teen and nurture them as they put their plan into action. You are an important part of this team. Teens are most successful when they have support from family members.

  • Our focus is on helping your family make choices that support health. To succeed, the process requires a desire and readiness to change — in both you and your child. Rather than impose limits, rules or restrictions, we work with your family’s strengths and help you and your teen find what works best for you.

Services We Provide

We offer individualized clinic visits and group classes on nutrition, family meals, emotional well-being and family physical activity.

  • The first step is for your teen to see a medical care provider (physician assistant, nurse practitioner or doctor) from the Adolescent Medicine team. This provider will assess your teen’s health and talk with them and you to understand your teen’s needs. Next, the provider may refer your teen to a nutritionist, fitness specialist, social worker or other partners in the community who support healthy behavior change. Most teens see each team member monthly.

  • This 16-week program is offered to teens 15 to 17 years old with a BMI greater than the 95th percentile. Teens and parents in the program attend sessions 1 evening per week to learn more about healthy approaches to lifestyle. The program is a mix of group meetings for teens, group meetings for parents and time for each family with a nutritionist, fitness specialist and social worker. The program runs twice a year.

  • Seattle Children’s partners with the UW Medicine bariatric surgery team on weight loss surgery for teens. Our Adolescent Medicine providers can answer your questions about this surgery and evaluate whether it is an option for your child. Read more.