Metabolic & Obesity

About Our Program

The Pediatric Metabolic and Obesity program seeks to treat childhood obesity and prevent serious comorbidities, through specialized assessment of underlying predisposing factors and tailored therapy with a focus on healthier lifestyles.

Two adults helping a child learn how to ride a bicycle

Our Team

Patients and families are guided through the process of developing a healthier lifestyle and weight loss by a team of experts, including:

  • Pediatricians
  • Pediatric Endocrinologists
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered dietitians
  • Social workers
  • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Providers
Angelina V Bernier

Angelina V Bernier M.D.

Associate Professor & Fellowship Director
Phone: (352) 265-7337
Shannon F Patrick

Shannon F Patrick APRN

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Phone: (352) 265-7337
Michael A Tan

Michael A Tan MS, RD, LDN


Treating Pediatric Obesity

The program effort is not solely based on BMI management but focuses on a comorbid-centric approach that determines the therapeutic decision plan for individual patients setting specific goals based on desired outcomes.

Comorbidities and Complications

Young girl painting on a wall

In 2019, we implemented a screening program to identify patients with a higher likelihood of rare genetic disorders of obesity through genetic testing. 

The focus is not just on weight loss, rather we work with each child and family to develop healthier habits. We address behavioral modification, food monitoring, dietary and physical activity goal-setting at each visit. Medical intervention and escalation of care to the extended UF pediatric multidisciplinary clinics are available as needed.

Bariatric Surgery

When Diet and Exercise are Simply not Enough

The Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program is the only accredited Adolescent bariatric program in the state of Florida.

Our multidisciplinary clinic works closely with the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery program to support patients with severe obesity. 

Bariatric or weight-loss surgery is recommended for patients with severe obesity defined by:

  • BMI ≥ 35 with at least one obesity complication such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, fatty liver disease, hyperlipidemia, osteoarthritis or heart disease
  • Or a BMI ≥ 40

Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery:

  • 90% of adolescents can have long term weight loss
  • Typically see 20-30% decrease in weight in teenagers
  • Significant improvement or resolution of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, and musculoskeletal pain

Approach to Pediatric Obesity

This virtual lecture series is intended for pediatric primary and specialty care providers and will occur on the first Wednesday of the month from 12:30 – 1 p.m

Community Partners & Programs

Families are connected and enrolled in community activities and nutrition programs for support in-between visits. We schedule cooking classes where families can learn to cook simple and healthy meals together and grocery store tours where families can see how to shop healthy on a budget

Fun & Fit Wellness Center

The Fun & Fit Wellness Center is a resource booth in the lobby of the Children’s Medical Services Building (CMS) of UF Health. The center provides healthy eating, physical activity, and sleep resources to patients and connects them to community programs that support healthy lifestyles.

Five young boys running down a dirt road in a field

Fun 4 Gator Kids

Fun 4 Gator Kids is your local resource for family friendly events and activities in Gainesville and surrounding areas. Listings include kids events, children programs and classes, youth sports, kids eat free directory, birthday party resources, rainy day activities, free fun for kids, summer camps and MORE fun things for kids and families to do in and around Gainesville.

Fun 4 Gator Kids Logo

Kids playing in a grassy field

Fitness Mini-Clinic

Fitness Assessment Report

An American Heart Association scientific statement released in 2020 strongly supports the use of cardiorespiratory testing during clinic visits as a screen to predict current and future disease risk in children, but acknowledges the access challenges and cost of this testing. Guided by this statement and our own published research, we moved beyond traditional clinical framework and established a free physical fitness mini-clinic within the existing UF Pediatric Metabolic & Obesity Program. Our multidisciplinary team from the Departments of Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has implemented time-efficient, predictive fitness-related health assessments that help patients and families identify SMART goals for lifestyle change. As part of this translational process of implementing fitness assessments in clinic, we aim to demonstrate how this new intervention affects the health trajectory of our patient population. In order to do so, we will create a redcap data registry for tracking the assessments, recommendations, and follow-up metrics to determine potential efficacy.

We anticipate that mini-clinic will improve the quality of the care experience by directly engaging children at risk for future diseases and disability in three ways:

  1. Providing equal access to evidence-based predictive tests for disease risk
  2. Engages children as young as 5 years of age in understanding the importance of exercise
  3. Assists children and families in identifying opportunities for better health through physical activity-oriented SMART goals

Tracking of follow-up response will help determine which recommendations are successful for the child and whether better lifestyle choices are being made to increase fitness.


Fitness Mini-Clinic Manual

These materials and procedures were designed for use in the medical clinic setting to track physical fitness changes related to adoption of small focused goals about physical activity and lifestyle.

Fitness Mini Clinic Model

Research Studies

Current Studies:

  • Can sweetened drinks impair the therapeutic effect of Metfomin therapy?
  • 95210 Health Tracker study
  • Genetic Variants in Obesity
  • Understanding the Risk of Comorbidities in Girls with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Completed Studies:


Request an Appointment

To request an appointment please call 352-265-7337. Pediatrician referrals should be made to the Metabolic clinic.

Plan Your Visit

  • Parking Direction (request a parking pass at the front desk)
  • After checking in at lobby Kiosk please make your way over to the Fun & Fit Wellness Center near the elevator to complete the lifestyle screener
  • Your doctor will review the information in addition to the referral information center over by your Primary Care Provider.
  • Please bring a copy of any growth charts or laboratory studies performed prior to the visit