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Weight Loss Camps
Weight loss camps may be an alternative for struggling teens. Teens may be struggling in school, emotionally, or socially due to being overweight. Weight loss camps provide an opportunity for overweight teens to lose weight in a more controlled and positive environment.
Students who are overweight and obese can face a wide range of issues in their families, in their social groups, and at school. They may face problems externally, such as teasing or rejection, emotional problems, such as feeling sad or guilty about their situation and their inability to control it, and have difficulty in physical education classes or with physical activities in general.
Trying to create change at home may be a challenge for several reasons. For the child who needs to lose weight and whose family is trying to adjust meals accordingly, choosing from the school hot lunch menu to meet dietary restrictions may be too difficult, and the contents of his or her bag lunch may evoke teasing from classmates. At home, especially if the child has siblings who don't have a weight problem, there may be feelings of being deprived or punished. And having to cook separate meals to meet different family members' dietary needs can be a challenge for parents.
One way to address a recalcitrant weight problem without sparking negative feelings within the family and teasing at school may be for the child to attend a weight loss camp. The value of a weight loss camp can derive from several factors. First, everybody is in the same boat, so the feelings of being the only one or of having been deprived of what others are freely getting is diminished. Of course, it's possible that everyone will feel somewhat deprived, but there can be camaraderie in being in the same boat.
Second, instead of families taking on the role of enforcers of the diet, that job belongs to those running the weight loss camp and the camp kitchens. This can help preserve family ties in the midst of a challenging situation. it is possible that the child will experience some resentment at having been sent to camp, but when he or she see starts to see some results as his or her weight drops, these feelings - if they occurred - may change to satisfaction and/or relief.
Weight loss camp attendance can be scheduled to avoid interfering with school, during the summer vacation. This is also the time when the most choice of physical activities is available, and while losing weight, a child can also gain some expertise in enjoyable activities and sports.
If a family commits to a weight loss camp, it is important to make sure that the camp is accredited and that their program is sound. Children who are not allowed to eat as much as they'd like may feel put upon, and you want to be sure that the approach is scientifically valid and that whatever sacrifices are involved are actually for the child's good. Prior to enrolling a child in a weight loss camp, it is also of great importance for the child to have a physical and with a focus on establishing that the child does not have an eating disorder. Eating disorder are different than simply being overweight, and require different and specialized treatment. It is also important to commit to helping the child maintain his or her progress after the camp is over.
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