Nationally ranked care. Another way our love for kids just keeps on growing.


Live Right! 

Live Right! is a unique program that combines the specialties of three disciplines to provide the best care for your child and family, Psychology, Nutrition, and General Weight Management Medicine.

The Live Right! Program

Getting Started with Live Right!

Helpful Information and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Meet the Live Right! Team

Contact Us

Spencer's LiveRight! story

The Live Right! Program

Our program focuses on the three essential elements of living a healthier lifestyle: education, behavior modification, and follow-up visits.


Your first appointment will include a one hour long group session with the dietitian to learn about proper eating and nutrition for your child and family. You will get a light and healthy lunch and perhaps taste some foods that you’ve never tasted before. At each subsequent visit, you will learn something new about healthy eating and nutrition and be able to ask questions or address any concerns.

Behavior modification

Changing your child and family’s eating and activity habits is crucial to living a healthier life, and is a cornerstone of the Live Right! program. During your appointments, we will help you set very specific goals about what changes you would like to achieve. We will then discuss individual steps to help your child and family reach these goals.


After your first visit you will meet with your dietician, medical provider, and psychologist for six consecutive visits. These visits are based on your child’s individual case.

  • About 2 weeks after your first visit you will come to see just the dietitian and discuss ways to adopt better eating habits.
  • Every 4-6 weeks you will meet with your medical provider and psychologist to further discuss progress in your eating and activity goals.

Sometimes it's hard to notice progress from day to day, or even week to week. Even if it seems like your child and family are not meeting their goals, our experience and research shows that regular attendance in the program is essential to success.

Please plan on sticking with Live Right! to achieve best results.

Top of Page

Getting Started with Live Right!

First, you must obtain the Live Right! Welcome Packet which includes a Welcome Letter and the necessary forms. You can get the Welcome Packet in one of two ways.

  • Call: 314-268-2700, ext. 1695 or toll-free 1-800-366-6119, ext. 1695 to have a Live Right! Welcome Packet mailed to you.
  • Download and print: a Live Right! Welcome Packet here.

Next, fill out the “Live Right! – Initial Medical Form” included in the Welcome Packet and send it back to our office. This, too, can be done one of two ways.

  • Fax it: to our office at 314-268-6448.
  • Mail it: to our office at
    Live Right!
    the Weight Management Program at
    SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center
    1465 South Grand Blvd.
    St. Louis, MO, 63104

The “Authorization for Release of Protected Patient Medical Information” form must also be filled out and given to your child’s primary care physician.

Once the forms are complete and with the correct office, a scheduler will contact you to set up an appointment.

Top of Page

Helpful Information and Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Tips for Parents

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - All About BMI

Top of Page

Frequently Asked Questions

“Overweight, obesity, BMI”…what does it all mean?! Sometimes the words we use to describe some of the problems you or your child might be having can be confusing. The following questions are some of the most common we’re asked among patients in the Live Right! Weight Management program.

What is BMI?

BMI stands for body mass index. BMI is a number that’s calculated by measuring a child’s height and weight. BMI is just one number we use to figure out if someone has too much weight for their height.

In growing children older than 2 years of age, we can plot BMI on a chart to see how your child’s BMI compares to other children of the same age and gender. If a child’s BMI is between the 85th and 95th percentiles, that child is considered “overweight.” If a child’s BMI is greater than the 95th percentile (higher than 95% of his or her peers), that child is considered “obese.”

Check out the BMI Calculator link to see an example of a BMI chart and what the BMI of an overweight and obese child would look like. BMI is used to determine if a child might have too much fat in their body, but BMI does not actually measure fatness.

Is my child obese? What does it mean that she has obesity?

The word “obese” means that a child or teen might have too much fat on their body.

The most common way to define obesity is by calculating a child’s BMI and plotting it on a BMI chart. Just like the growth charts for your child’s height and weight, there are also charts for BMI that compare your child’s BMI to that of other children the same age and gender. If a child’s BMI is at or greater than the 95% for age and gender, then we say that child has “obesity.” BMI is only used to determine if a child is obese if the child is older than two. There is currently no formal definition of obesity for children less than 2 years old.

However, talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about a child less than 2 years of age.

What’s the difference between overweight and obese?

The difference between overweight and obese is determined by where your child’s BMI is on the BMI chart. Your child is overweight if their BMI is at or above the 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile on a BMI chart. Your child is considered obese if their BMI is at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and gender.

As a parent, it is very important for you to know where your child’s BMI is on the BMI chart. Because children of different ages and different sexes have different amounts of body fat, knowing just your child’s weight does not tell you if they have too much fat on their body.

While most people can recognize if a child has too much fat, many children who are overweight or obese can look relatively normal to family and friends. For more information on BMI in children and teens, check out this link: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - BMI.

Why are doctors worried about obesity in children and teens?

Obesity causes health problems in children, not just adults. Children and teens who are obese can have health problems early in life and can have even worse health problems as they grow into adulthood.

  • Children as young as 6 years old can have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, which causes difficulties breathing during the night. This can lead to sleepiness and behavior problems during the day.
  • Obese children as young as 8 years old are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Obese children and teens often get teased more, leading to low self-esteem, which often involves feelings of sadness, problems in school, and difficult behavior problems.
  • Children and teens suffering from obesity can also have high blood pressure and abnormal deposits of fat in their liver. These two problems don’t necessarily make the child hurt right now, but they may cause health problems later in life if not treated early.
  • Other consequences of obesity in children and teens include skin infections, problems with personal hygiene, bone and joint problems, as well as going through puberty prematurely.

What causes obesity, and how will Live Right! help me and my child or teen?

Obesity in children and teens is a complicated condition with many possible causes.

  • A child’s genetic background definitely plays a role in obesity, but this is something beyond their control.
  • Science also tells us that the health status of a mother during her pregnancy and how a child is fed when they’re a baby also might play important roles in the development of obesity.
  • For most children and teens with obesity, the lifestyle choices they and their families make play the most important roles in the development of obesity. By lifestyle, we mean the foods and drinks they consume, how much physical activity they get, how much television they watch, how much sleep they get, and how they manage stress in their lives.

Because lifestyle choices are the most important and direct cause of obesity in children and teens, the Live Right! program focuses on helping families recognize these choices and change their lifestyles for the better. Making good lifestyle choices makes for healthier and happier families, and reduces the chances of health problems caused by obesity.

Top of Page

Meet the Live Right! Team

Rosie Williams – Senior Patient Coordinator

Elizabeth Babusis, MD – Lipid Disorders & Weight Loss

Kathy Spranaitis, PNP, BC – Gastroenterology

Kathryn Helling, RD – Clinical Nutrition

Joel Nadler, PhD – Psychology

Amy Ford, PsyD – Psychology

Team members also available if needed:

Social worker, for assistance with resources in the community

Financial counselor, for assistance with insurance coverage and payment

Top of Page

Contact Us

If you have questions, please call 314-268-2700 ext. 1695; toll free 800-366-6119 ext. 1695.

Live Right!
the Weight Management Program at
SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital
1465 South Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO, 63104

Office Fax: 314-268-6448

Top of Page

Meet Spencer Wells

< Back

Cardinal Glennon on Facebook
Cardinal Glennon on Twitter
Cardinal Glennon on InstaGram
Cardinal Glennon on YouTube
Cardinal Glennon on Flickr
SSM Health offers free flu vaccinations October 7
Learn more »
SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Ranked in U.S. News & World Report 2017-2018 Best Children’s Hospitals
Learn more »