February 23, 2020 - Sunday
Home » Library of Articles » As Kids Head Back to School, Make a PowerPlay™ Against Childhood Obesity

As Kids Head Back to School, Make a PowerPlay™ Against Childhood Obesity

“Weighting” is Not an Option

– By Katy Graves, MPAS, PA-C –

Childhood ObesityIn the last three decades, the rate of childhood obesity has nearly tripled, with one of every three American children qualifying for an overweight or obese diagnosis. The alarm bells should be sounding for parents, caretakers, and health care providers. Just as in the adult population, being overweight or obese places children and adolescents at a greater risk for developing multiple diseases, as well as suffering from the emotional and social pressures that ensue.

Medi-Weightloss Clinics® in Overland Park recently launched a program called PowerPlay™ designed to meet the needs of adolescents, 12-18 years old. The physician-supervised weight loss program was developed by health care providers specializing in Pediatrics, Nutrition, Child Psychology, and Bariatric medicine, and is based on guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dietetic Association. The medical staff at PowerPlay™ is dedicated to providing our patients the support, motivation, and education they need to lose weight and transition to a healthier lifestyle.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is used in patients over 2 years of age to aid in the diagnosis. BMI is age- and gender-specific for the pediatric population, and is based off of height and weight. BMI is plotted on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) BMI-for-age growth charts to obtain a percentile ranking. Children and adolescents with a BMI of 85% to less than 95% are considered overweight, while those with a BMI of 95% or higher are considered obese.

Everyone! The rates for obesity have been climbing higher and higher and not a gender or ethnic group has been spared. In the United States, the overall trend across the board is that children are heavier now than ever before. The most recent statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that 31.9% of children and adolescents were overweight and 16.3% were obese.

Most health care professionals would agree that there is not just one cause. The process is multi factorial and depending on the specific population may include: decrease or lack of physical activity, portion distortion, increase in accessibility of sugary, high-fat foods (at school and fast-food), high cost of fresh/healthy food, socioeconomic status, education level, parental weight, and, of course, the typical hectic lifestyle in which families are struggling to plan meals, eat together at the table, or even eat at the same time.

Being overweight or obese affects the child or teenager as a whole, putting a strain on physical, emotional, and social well-being. Negative outcomes include, but are not limited to, the following: Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), sleep apnea, fatigue, menstrual abnormalities, depression, low self-esteem, discrimination, and bullying, just to name a few.

The staff at Medi-Weightloss Clinics® will work closely with the patient’s family and pediatrician (or primary care provider) in order to make lifestyle changes and increase overall health and wellness. The program consists of individual and family consultation, a multivitamin supplement, and nutrition and exercise education. The first visit includes a history and physical exam, EKG and lab work, BMI analysis, metabolic testing, and consultation with a health care provider to develop an appropriate weight-loss plan.


  • Weekly support, encouragement and motivation
  • Education on how to lose weight in the real world, using real food
  • Access to current information about nutrition and delicious recipes
  • Text messaging food journal and online fitness tracking
  • Ways to overcome temptations and win the weight loss battle!

Children today make up the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. PowerPlay™ is committed to empowering our youth today, so they can live a healthier tomorrow. It is time to make a change. Start today! Call Medi-Weightloss Clinics® in Overland Park at 913-284-0459, or visit us at www.mediweightlossclinics.com/locations/overlandpark.

Katy Graves, MPAS, PA-C
Katy Graves graduated from the University of Kansas where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology. She completed her Masters of Physician Assistant at Wichita State University and completed her internship at Shawnee Mission Medical Center in clinical cardiology. She joined Medi-Weightloss Clinics® in 2012 with a desire to practice preventative medicine focusing on improving patient health through proper nutrition and education.

Her passion for nutrition and preventative medicine began as a missionary in Haiti where she assisted in the founding of a malnutrition program for children and orphans. She continues to work with teams in Haiti and South America as a medical missionary.

Katy is the co-author of Incorporating Patient Education into Clinical Practice, and currently serves on the Board of the Kansas Academy of Physician Assistants. In her free time, Katy enjoys being active in her church and is a competitive triathlete.

Check Also

Experience Comprehensive Audiology Care

Experience Comprehensive Audiology Care

By Tim Steele, Ph.D., FAAA, President, Associated Audiologists, Inc. With the largest team of doctoral-level …