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Family Weight Loss Camps

by Erica Loop, studioD

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 35 percent of all American adults and nearly 17 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are obese. Obesity, and being over-weight, can increase the risk of developing health-related problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and joint problems. Family weight loss camps can help parents and children with weight issues to shed pounds and learn to live a healthier lifestyle.


The majority of weight loss camps are residential facilities in which the child sleeps over for an extended period of time. Depending on the camp, the child may have a several week or even month-long stay. Younger children in the early grade school years may feel uncomfortable, or may experience separation anxiety, when it comes to living away from home. One of the advantages to participating in a family weight loss camp is providing comfort and support to the younger child. With mom or dad (or both) present, the younger child can take advantage of the opportunity to attend a residential weight loss camp without the fear of being away from home.


While a traditional kids' summer camp, or summer weight loss camp, may have cabins, tents or bunks for groups of children, a family weight loss camp typically houses parent-child pairs together. For example, the Wellspring Family Camp in Southern California has accommodations that include two-family member suites with separate bedrooms for the child and the parents, a living room and a private bathroom. Housing that features space for the entire family allows for a more home-like feel in which the child need not worry about being separated from mom and dad for extended periods of time.


While the main goal of a family weight loss camp is certainly to lose weight, these programs provide an array of fun-filled activities that will inspire both kids and adults alike. If you think that weight loss camp simply means having some expert lecture you and your family on eating less, you are missing out on the finer points of the programs. Think of weight loss camp as a healthy eating, active vacation in which everyone learns by doing. Activities typically include sports such as flag football or soccer, group games, age-appropriate physical fitness classes and even culinary workshops.

Food and Nutrition

Eating at family weight loss camp doesn't equal meals that look more like bird seed than kid-friendly fare. Family weight loss camps keep both the parents and the children in mind when planning appropriate meal options in a nutritionally sound way. Although keeping calories under control is a high priority, these camps try to teach clients about making positive choices that lead to a healthier lifestyle. The Wellspring Family Camp sets a goal of keeping campers under 20 grams of fat per day. That said, families get an array of options that appeal to kids such as spaghetti and sauce or breaded chicken tenders.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

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