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Patient Information

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YMCA ENERGIZE! program logo


How to Enroll

To enroll in the Energize Program, children need a referral from their provider to either WakeMed’s Pediatric Weight Management Program or Outpatient Nutrition based on their Body Mass Index (BMI).

Calculate BMI

Referral Guidelines for Medical Providers:

Body Mass Index ≥ 85-94th Percentile: Refer to Outpatient Nutrition

  • Scheduling Number: 919-350-7000, option #1, #2; Fax: 919-350-8959

Body Mass Index ≥ 95th Percentile: Refer to Pediatric Weight Management

  • Scheduling Number: 919-235-6439, option #3; Fax: 919-231-0314

About WakeMed's ENERGIZE! kids playing soccer in gym

Under the medical direction of Dr. Samareh Hill, director of WakeMed Pediatric Weight Management, ENERGIZE! is taught collaboratively by dedicated WakeMed registered dietitians, education specialists, fitness instructors and community fitness partners in a fun and supportive group environment.

Designed for children ages 6-18, ENERGIZE! offers a community-based, family-centered approach to help children and their families make healthy lifestyle changes. This award-winning program offers free fitness and hands-on healthy lifestyle classes for the entire family.

What to Expect:

  • Each 12-week session meets in the evenings twice a week and includes group fitness activities and nutrition education classes, including the virtual ENERGIZE! Your Recipe class where families get to cook a healthy meal together.
  • Children and teens will gain the tools to confidently adapt healthy habits while finding a positive support system among their peers.
  • Patients can enroll in either the kids' group (ages 6-12) or teens' group (ages 12-18).
  • Family members are encouraged to participate in all ENERGIZE! activities with their child.
  • Programs are offered year-round, and patients are welcome to re-enroll at the same or a different location.

ENERGIZE! Healthy Breakfast

ENERGIZE! is a grant-supported program designed to teach young people how to build lifelong, healthy attitudes about food and fitness.

Need tips to get your child's day started with a healthy breakfast? Check out Navigating the Cereal Aisle.


  • The average body mass index of ENERGIZE! participants decreased or stayed the same over the course of 12 months.
    • Body mass index is a common measure used to assess weight for a given height and reflects health risks.
  • Fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, triglyceride, blood pressure measures improved for ENERGIZE! participants.
  • ENERGIZE! participants  increased muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.
  • Both kids and their caretakers increased physical activity over the course of one year following ENERGIZE!
  • Families decreased their sweetened beverage consumption, saving on calories and money.
  • Families decreased their consumption of high fat snacks.

Learn more about our success! 

Energize Graph

child working with instructorComments from Families

"I have benefited from ENERGIZE! because now I know I can control what I do! I eat more fruit, exercise more and drink a lot of water." 
"I learned exercises you can do with or without equipment. I learned how to talk to my child about healthy meal choices. I learned to exercise until I sweat to get more benefit from my workout. I loved the family night activities and tasting the fruits and vegetables. This is a great program, I got a lot from it."

Watch Alexis Harris' weight management story and read her blog.


Start an ENERGIZE! Program in Your Community

If you are interested in starting and running an ENERGIZE! program in your community, please contact Julie Paul, RD, CDE, for more information at jpaul@wakemed.org.

Community Partnerships

ENERGIZE! is proud to partner with community organizations, like Farm it Forward, to provide families with more opportunities to achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

Research Opportunities

Families enrolled in the ENERGIZE! Program may be asked at their initial visit if they would be interested in participating in ongoing research projects to assist in the advancement of the field of childhood obesity treatment and community partnerships. These studies are completely voluntary, free, and confidential. All medical information obtained as part of the studies will be kept anonymous and not linked to the participating child or family.