Weight Management Specialist

Richard G. Merkler, MD, FAAP -  - Pediatrician

Richard G. Merkler, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician located in Midtown West, New York, NY

Richard Merkler, MD, FAAP, provides pediatric weight management services at his Midtown West in Manhattan, New York City clinic. Using a combination of nutrition counseling, exercise plans, and medications when necessary, Dr. Merkler assists pediatric patients in achieving and maintaining a weight conducive to health and wellness.

Weight Management Q&A

When should parents consult a pediatrician?

In most cases, concerns about weight are discussed during a well-child visit. Scheduling routine, annual well-child visits is a great way to ensure children are on target for height and weight and detect other potential underlying medical problems. In some cases, parents reach out to their pediatrician with their concerns about their child’s weight.

What changes can parents make at home to promote a healthy weight in their children?

Keeping the cupboards stocked with healthy snacks such as yogurt, string cheese, fruits, fresh vegetables, boiled eggs, and granola is a great way to promote healthy snacking. Preparing meals that are rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grain also helps teach children positive meal choices. Finally, parents can avoid stocking junk food at home to deter children from making poor choices. A healthy diet isn’t deprived of unhealthy foods, but they should be limited and infrequent.

What can Dr. Merkler do to help children manage their weight?

Dr. Merkler builds treatment plans using several components, including:

  • Educating the patient on the dangers of obesity
  • Creating a meal plan that satisfies the patient’s cravings and appetite, fits within the family’s schedule and budget, and produces the desired change
  • Encouraging exercise through fun, feasible activities children love
  • Monitoring the child for other conditions associated with or caused by being overweight
  • Celebrating successful choices and outcomes

Any treatment plan requires participation and encouragement from parents to be successful long-term.

What complications are associated with obesity?

Overweight children are at increased risk of a variety of complications, sometimes most impactfully diminished self-esteem. Serious medical problems can also result from untreated childhood obesity, including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease, asthma, joint problems, sleep apnea, early puberty, infections in skin folds, eating disorders, and fatigue. Furthermore, children who are obese are more likely to be bullied at school, bully others, experience anxiety, and suffer from depression.

Unfortunately, many overweight children do not outgrow obesity. Obesity in adults increases the risk of life-threatening diseases like cancer, heart attack, and stroke.

Insurance

We accept the majority of health insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions.

1199 National Benefit Fund
Aetna
Affinity
BCBS
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Cigna
EmblemHealth
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
Fidelis
GHI
Great West
Health First
HealthFirst
HIP
MagnaCare
Metroplus