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Pediatrics specialties

Healthy Lifestyles Center

Healthy Lifestyles Center gym At Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR) Healthy Lifestyles Center (HLC), a team of dietitians, exercise specialists, psychologists, pediatric medical and surgical specialists, and nurses provide comprehensive lifestyle management care for the treatment and prevention of obesity and weight-related medical conditions. Through specially designed multidisciplinary programs and services, team members work closely with children/adolescents and their families to promote healthy weight management, eating, exercise and lifestyle habits with a focus on lifelong change.

The Healthy Lifestyles Center is housed in a 4,000-square-foot space adjacent to CHoR’s Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. It has a gym (pictured), exercise testing facilities, consultation rooms and research space. The establishment of this unique facility —the first of its kind in Central Virginia —reflects CHoR’s commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles.

Components of the Healthy Lifestyles Center

Healthy Lifestyles Clinic

Our Healthy Lifestyles Clinic offers comprehensive assessment by a physician, behavioral psychologist, dietitian and exercise physiologist, all of whom have expertise in weight management. The HLC team partners with families to develop individualized treatment plans that may include:

  • Fitness goals established with a personal trainer
  • Group-based treatments
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Participation in research studies
  • Psychological support/counseling
  • Referral to additional physician specialists
  • Weight loss surgery evaluations

Weight loss surgery assessment

Weight loss surgery may be considered as an adjunct treatment option for older adolescents with severe obesity and significant weight-related medical conditions who meet established criteria and participate in at least six months of medically-supervised lifestyle intervention. The center currently offers two weight loss procedure options as part of comprehensive treatment.


Programming at the Healthy Lifestyles Center includes research dedicated to increasing understanding of effective weight-management treatments for children and adolescents. Current studies focus on:

  • LIBER8/2BFIT: Group based treatments for 13- to 18-year-old girls who struggle with over eating, loss of control eating or emotional eating
  • NOURISH: a group-based intervention for parents of 5- to 11-year-old children
  • TEENS: a multidisciplinary weight-management treatment program for adolescents ages 11 to 16 and their families
  • Novel weight loss surgery (laparoscopic gastric plication) for adolescents with severe obesity and weight-related health problems


  • All potential patients must meet with a HLC physician before entering any of the HLC clinical, research or surgery programs.
  • Call (804) 628-7337 ext. 2 to schedule a physician visit.
  • Patients are referred to the health psychologist and dietitian after the physician visit.
  • Treatment program options will be reviewed and an individualized treatment plan will be outlined.
  • For more information on research opportunities, please call (804) 527-4756.

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