Centre of Excellence in Adolescent Severe Obesity

Understanding Obesity as a Disease

Obesity is recognized as chronic disease that affects over 10% of youth in Canada. As a chronic illness, obesity can affect other systems in the body and eventually lead to death when it is not managed. Obesity is a complex condition that is influenced by a number of environmental, social, familial, and personal factors. Therefore ‘quick fix’ approaches often result in only temporary weight loss, and is detrimental to the overall mental and physical health of the individual living with obesity. A long-term, integrated treatment and management strategy is the best way to promote overall health and well-being.



About the Program

Our interdisciplinary program provides comprehensive assessment and follow-up of patients with severe obesity. We offer a variety of treatment options including a pathway towards bariatric surgery.


  • We are a tertiary care program dedicated to improving the lives and well being of adolescents living with the chronic disease of severe obesity.

  • We offer a comprehensive intradisciplinary assessment of severely obese patients including the consequences of this disease in the domains of physical, psychosocial and mental health.

  • We offer a variety of interventions aimed at producing behavioral changes that can lead to improved health.

  • We provide referrals to community partners for ongoing support.

  • We offer a pathway towards bariatric surgery, which is now understood to be an effective intervention for some patients.
  • We facilitate transition to adult care for patients needing on-going follow-up.
  • We strive to enhance knowledge and care for these patients through education and research.
Referring a Patient

Any physician can make a referral to CEASO. Below is the referral criterion for the program:

A) Patient must be 13 years or older


B) BMI of >35 kg/m2 with major co-morbidities (i.e., type 2 diabetes mellitus, moderate to severe sleep apnea [apnea-hypopnea index>15], pseudotumor cerebri, or severe Non Alcoholic fatty liver disease (ALT >25))


C) BMI of > 40 kg/m2

Should you want to refer a patient for evaluation, please complete the following referral form and fax it to 514-412-4319. For more information contact the Centre of Excellence in Adolescent Severe Obesity at 514-412-4481.

Our Program

All new CEASO patients and their families will begin by participating in our online educational sessions that are delivered by the clinical team members.

Once the sessions are completed, families will engage in a comprehensive assessment to best identify the appropriate treatment pathway. The assessment includes:

1. Blood work

2. Mental health and lifestyle questionnaires

3. Baseline clinic appointment with the CEASO Physician, Nurse, and Social worker

Following this assessment, families and the clinical team will jointly decide on one of the following pathways:

  • Behaviour Lifestyle Intervention Pathway: 1-on-1 appointments with the CEASO Exercise Specialist, Dietitian, Mental Health Specialist, Physician focusing on improving patient and family capability, motivation, and opportunities to facilitate behavior changes that positively contribute to the health of the patient.
  • Bariatric Surgery Pathway: Combination of 1-on-1 appointments with the CEASO Exercise Specilaist, Dietitian, Nurse, and Physician, and participation in the Inside Out psychotherapy group to prepare for bariatric surgery. Regular follow-ups with the CEASO clinic continue until 24-months post-surgery.

If none of the pathways are the right fit, the patient will be returned to their community provider with resources to help them support the family.

Our Team

We are a multi-disciplinary team that includes Physicians, Nurses, Dietitian, Exercise Specialist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Art Therapist, and Social Worker

Our clinical team members include:

  • Dr. Julius Erdstein, Adolescent Medicine Physician
  • Dr. Laurent Legault, Physician
  • Julie Fortin, Nurse
  • Monica O’Donohue, Nurse
  • Peggy Alcindor, Dietitian
  • Trisha Chloe Baluyot, Kinesiologist
  • Dr. Maeve O’Leary-Barrett, Psychologist
  • Dr. Jason Bond, Psychiatrist
  • Sally Cook, Art Therapist
  • Debbie Pealow, Social Worke

Our specialists are often pursuing research projects. Families may be approached about participation in research aimed at improving our knowledge and treatment of patients living with severe obesity. Participation in research is not required and refusal to be part of a study will not affect treatment in any way.

Refer a patient 

Should you want to refer a patient for evaluation, please complete the following referral form and fax it to 514-412-4319. For more information contact the Centre of Excellence in Adolescent Severe Obesity at 514-412-4400, ext 2334.




Montreal Children's Hospital