Obesity affected 12.7 million American children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 between the years 2011 and 2012, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data shows that about 36 percent of children in Texas are obese. The data also shows that only 60 percent of children engage in moderate or vigorous activity at least four days of the week. Fitness and nutrition education help reduce and maintain weight. Weight-loss camps may be a good experience for overweight or obese children to engage in fun activities and lose weight in the process.
Coppell Fitness Boot Camp
In the Dallas area, Brad Linder founded the Coppell Fitness Boot Camp in 2008. Linder has a master’s degree in health, kinesiology and sport studies and is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For four weeks, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a one-hour boot camp session is held outdoors near the aquatics center at Andy Brown East for all children ages 6 through 16. Children of all fitness levels are welcome, and the first session is free.The boot camp is aimed at forming a love for fitness.
The Center for Obesity and its Consequences in Health, or COACH, is held at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. The program has been in place since 2006 and is designed to prevent high cholesterol, diabetes and other diseases caused by obesity. Children aged 6 to 18 are invited to participate upon referral of a primary care physician and completing a psychological “Readiness to Change Questionnaire.” A medical history and blood tests will be performed, and a COACH doctor will discuss the needs of each participant regarding diet and exercise. During the program, the focus is on the whole family, not only the participant. Children and parents will have access to doctors and counselors, as well as dietitians. Diet and exercise education will be emphasized.
A little over three hours from Dallas, in San Marcos, Texas, an overnight camp for people aged 10 to 24 is available. Along with managing diet and exercise, the program focuses on family involvement, behavior change and continuous support with staff after leaving the camp. Campers will engage in activities like kayaking, hiking, basketball, tennis, soccer, swimming, biking and aerobics. Campers lose 4 pounds per week on average. The program includes meals, snacks, therapy, personal training sessions, activities, field trips, nutrition education, cooking classes and lodging.
If price is a major concern, consider searching educational resources online. SuperKids Nutrition offers articles written and edited by a team of more than 40 registered dietitians. The Obesity Action Coalition offers many ways for kids to stay fit during the school year and during the summer and promotes the benefits of team sports. The coalition also discusses food relationships, family exercise and the importance of playing. We Can! is an initiative from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute educating kids on healthy weight, exercise and nutrition. The website displays physical activity guidelines, tips for portioning and reducing screen time, and samples of healthy foods.