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Ottawa Childhood Weight Loss Program

In a recent national survey of sixth graders with excess weight, 24 percent boys and 30 percent girls experienced daily teasing, bullying, or rejection because of their size.

That number more than doubles by high school with 58 percent of boys and 63 percent of girls experiencing daily weight related teasing and bullying.

Childhood overweight and obesity in Ontario affects nearly one in three children; should you find yourself worried about your child’s weight you certainly aren't alone. Statistics show that fewer than 1 in 5 kindergarteners identified in at-risk weight categories outgrow their at-risk weight by 5th grade.

Unfortunately not only are children with overweight or obesity at an increased risk of potential medical problems, they’re also at a higher risk of:

  • Poor self-esteem
  • Feeling socially isolated
  • Depression
  • Impaired social skills
  • Higher levels of stress and anxiety
  • Behaviour and/or learning problems as a result of psychological difficulties related to childhood obesity
Partnering with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, the Bariatric Medical Institute is now offering a FREE program delivered exclusively to parents of children between the ages of 5-12 whose weights are of concern.

Our Family Reset program takes place over 12 months with the first 6 months allowing for unlimited access to our registered dietitians, social worker, personal trainers and physicians, followed by 6 more months of careful follow-up with the same team. By working with parents directly on weight related issues, rather than with the children, we eliminate the potential risk of harming a child’s body image or relationship with food. And while you’re working with our team on how to help your child with their health and weight, you’ll be given the opportunity to enrol your child in a 5 week program designed to address bullying, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and anger management.

About the Family Reset Program

BMI’s Ministry of Health funded Family Reset Program helps parents navigate the four main areas that are involved with healthy lifestyles and in reducing weight – Nutrition, Behaviour, Fitness, and the ability to put it all together – Fusion.


Our Family Reset program includes all of the unlimited access to our physicians, registered dietitians and certified personal trainers enjoyed by our core program, but also includes cooking classes and unlimited access to a clinical pediatric social worker who will not only help parents learn how best to implement household change, but also with the children in a group setting to work on self-esteem, anti-bullying, body image and stereotypes, depression, anxiety, and anger management – issues often seen consequent to weight struggles.

Program Details

  • All parents are followed by a physician.
  • All parents receive 6 months of unlimited one-on-one counselling from a registered dietitian, behaviourist and exercise specialist who will work on family health, parenting, nutrition, healthy active living and the cultivation of healthy attitudes surrounding weight and body image. Parents will continue to meet with all team members following those 6 months at prescribed intervals, but if the need arises, emergently as well.
  • All parents who themselves have overweight or obesity will be provided with BMI’s existing 6 month behavioural weight management program which also includes unlimited access to all team members, as well as on-site group fitness classes three times weekly for 6 months.
  • Five group classes for children, led by a specialized social worker/behaviourist with sessions focusing on self-esteem, anti-bullying, body image and stereotypes, depression, anxiety, and anger management. There will be no emphasis or discussion on weight at these meetings aside from how weight might play into the emotions and issues being discussed.
  • One group class for overweight and obese adults led by a clinical psychologist on common psychological roadblocks to self-efficacy.
  • Up to ten hours of one-on-one therapy with a clinical psychologist for parents struggling with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety as improving the treatment of mood disturbances will likely improve those parents’ interactions with their children.
  • Monthly group fitness outings designed for families led by exercise specialists to introduce families to different active living options.
  • Two group cooking classes for all parents at a rented outside facility designed to teach basic cooking and meal preparation skills. Thanks to the generosity of best selling cookbook authors Greta and Janet Podleski, each family will receive a free copy of their latest compilation The Looneyspoons Collection which was Canada’s best-selling cookbook of 2012.

How to Qualify

As part of Ontario’s childhood obesity strategy, BMI’s Family Reset program will be offered at no cost to those families who qualify. If one or more of your children is between 5-12 and their weight is between the 85th weight percentile and 99th percentile and would like to get more information please call our office at 613-730-0264 or fill out our request an appointment form for more information on how to get started.