A weight loss camp can cost anywhere from £500 to £5,000 depending on its location and duration. Programs can range in commitment from two weeks to a nine week term; there are single sex and mixed, co-ed camps, and they can be located anywhere from Skegness to the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Some camps are designed for teenagers and young adults while others focus on the younger group e.g. ages seven to twelve. Not just any child can enroll; camps usually require attendees to be clinically overweight or obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30, or have to lose at least 30 lb for health reasons. Camps follow the advice of the experts, aiming for their participants to lose a healthy one to two pounds per week; it is recognized that quick weight loss is unhealthy and bound to return.
Weight loss camps focus primarily on getting your child healthy, happy and fit through regular physical activity rather than by constant dieting, which isn't healthy or fun. In fact, campers eat kid-friendly foods like tacos, mac'n cheese and chicken nuggets (with some nutritional 'tweaking,' of course. Tacos are veggie or chicken, mac'n cheese is made with low-fat cheese and the nuggets are baked, not fried!). Campers take part in activities such as swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, archery, go cart riding, soccer, and rope climbing. Camps focus on changing problematic eating habits and teaching participants how to make healthy food and diet choices.
What should you look for when choosing a weight loss camp?
Camps should be certified through by the American Camping Association (www.acacamps.org); some may also carry the approval of the state department of health. Check with these organizations before choosing a weight loss camp for your child.
Verify that the camp relies on diet plans that meet the campers' nutritional needs; the program should emphasize healthy eating and education rather than extremely restrictive diets. Look for diets that guarantee 1,500 calories per day for your active child.
Camps should not be overly expensive; your child's health and happiness should not get caught up in a money making scheme.
Weight loss camps should focus on changing your child's lifestyle towards food and fitness; they should be able to learn enough information to apply it to life after camp in order to maintain their new attitude towards successful weight loss.