Weight Loss Camps: what is the buzz about?

In response to the dramatic increase in obesity and rise in incidence of type II diabetes in the west in the last two decades, weight loss camps have sprung up and established their presence in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

They have carved a niche for themselves in the arena of weight loss programs for children and young adults.

Weight loss camps offer a fun filled approach to help overweight children and teens to learn to lose weight and keep it off in a summer camp setting.

Children get to meet peers in their age group in the camps. Free from the presence of bullies for the most part, they often immediately hit it off. 

The friendly nature of their encounters and activities supervised by trained staff immediately acts to boost their self-esteem and sustains their interest and enthusiasm.

At the end of the weight loss camps, most will pare their pounds and return home equipped with confidence and the knowledge needed for leading a healthy lifestyle.

Without a doubt, it is a positive experience for many and even a life-changing experience for some. There are children ranging in age from under ten to over eighteen in many of these weight loss camps.

Security and safety of the young participants is of primary concern to the camp management and is well taken care of,

The relaxed atmosphere of the camp with its variety of activities is designed to make children feel right at home and to spur them to start thinking positively about taking charge of their lives. 

Short-term weight loss through change of diet and personal eating habits (like eating smaller portions) combined with physical activity (sports, hiking, jogging etc) are emphasized in these camps. 

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Dedicated trained weight loss counselors interact closely with children informally and teach them such basics as nutrition and physical fitness.

The staff of the weight loss camps will supervise the child’s eating habits at the camp and gently guide her/him along to eat right.

While most weight loss camps aim at short term weight loss and a change in eating habits, there are some which target the child's/teen's long term behavioral change. They offer follow-up programs often working closely with the child's family.

There is a wide range of physical activities to keep children and teens engaged.

Personal training in well-equipped gyms, swimming, yoga, water aerobics, soccer, jogging, hiking, tennis, biking, basketball, volleyball, softball, weight training, billiards, ping pong are some of the attractions commonly found in weight loss camps. 

Some weight loss camps even have water sports like canoeing, kayaking, water skiing in awe inspiring natural settings. Many offer cultural activities like music, theater, arts and crafts as well.

While many are co-ed, there are some, which are exclusively for girls. A few camps are open to the adults as well.

It is a heart-warming experience to visit one of these weight loss camps and see the hope, enthusiasm and determination writ large on the cheerful faces of these youngsters, who may otherwise be doomed to a cycle of despair, social antipathy and despondency in the not too distant future.

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