More than 14 million children across the U.S. are now diagnosable as obese – about 20% of all children in America. Ten percent of those are diagnosed as severely obese - that's 1.4 million children. The situation has become a public health crisis, and the effects of untreated obesity in children can have life-long, devastating health impacts. 

On Friday, September 29, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children hosted its 2023 Pediatric Obesity Symposium, bringing together experts from the hospital and across the country to address the issue. The virtual event focused on a number of critical topics, from prevention to evaluation, medication to surgical interventions, mental health to weight bias and stigma. 

“For more than 80 percent of kids with childhood obesity, that condition will extend into adulthood if not treated aggressively,” said Stephan Myers, MD, chief of Bariatric Surgery at St. Christopher’s. “That results in a five times higher risk of diabetes and much more frequent rates of cardiovascular disease than adults that did not have obesity as a child. Many will die from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer years earlier than their peers.”

St. Christopher’s offers a Healthy Kids and Teens Weight Program - a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and community-based approach to helping children and adolescents struggling with weight issues and medical problems related to excess weight - and the region’s most comprehensive bariatric surgery program for adolescents. 


About St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is a 188-bed facility providing exceptional care to children from across the Philadelphia region. Founded in 1875, the hospital has more than 200 physicians who are pediatric experts, and offers a wide array of specialties. St. Christopher’s is home to one of only three Level I pediatric trauma centers in Pennsylvania, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit—the highest level­—and the only pediatric burn center between New York and Baltimore. The hospital is a Magnet® designated facility­—the gold standard of nursing—and is one of the largest pediatric medical training centers in the country. For more information, visit

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