Weight Loss Camp + The Effects of Obesity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 36% of Americans are now considered obese and an additional 34% are considered to be overweight. Not just adults but kids also, are attending weight loss camps. People are no longer surprised by these statics mentioned in 7 Surprising Effects of Obesity, but it can be surprising to find out how being obese can actually effect every area of your life such as health, family and income.

Obese people have a greater risk for all cancers and they are often diagnosed in later stages than thinner people and have higher chances of dying from the disease.  The National Cancer Institute connects 34,000 new cases of cancer in men and 50,000 in women each year with obesity. There are some theories as to why heavy weight connects with higher rates of cancer.  Raul Seballos, vice chairman of preventive medicine at the Cleveland Clinic states, “It could be that excess fat cells increase hormonal activity or they increase growth factors that lead to tumor growth.”  Looking at weight loss data it suggests that some of this risk can end by losing excess weight.

Infertility increases with overweight women.  Dr. Marc Bessler, stated that obesity is an inflammatory state and that alone might decrease fertility and that it may also be the result of hormone changes produced because of fatty tissue.   Many infertility clinics will not accept patients with high body mass indexes because of their low chances of becoming pregnant.  However, after some of his patients lost weight they were able to become pregnant.  Overweight women who are able to get pregnant have a higher risk of having a preterm baby. The researchers theorize that having too much fat may inflame and weaken the uterine and cervical membranes.

Poor sleep has an impact to many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.  Many studies have shown that lack of sleep tend to expand waistlines, for example, a study showed that people who slept less than 5 hours a night were 15% more likely to gain weight than people who slept for 7 hours.  For obese people sleep apnea is one of the most immediate health dangers, which is a condition when a person gasps or stops breathing for a moment when they are sleeping.

A Yale study showed that heavy weight is the number one reason why people are bullied at any age and the people who are bullied have lower self-esteem, higher depression levels and an increased risk of suicide.  Rebecca Puhl, the study’s lead author stated, “More than 40% of children who see treatment for weight loss say they have been bullied or teased by a family member.”  In Puhl studies, it showed that 67% of overweight men and women report being shamed and bullied in a doctor’s office.  50% of doctors found their overweight patients were “awkward, ugly weak-willed and unlikely to comply with treatment” while 24% of the nurses said they were repulsed by the patients.  Negative remarks from a healthcare provider is definitely destructive to obese people, they already have a greater number of health problems than average there is no need to add negative remarks. However, attending a weight loss camp can help you build confidence.

Studies have also shown the bigger your waistband, the smaller your wallet.  A study showed that women who weighed 25 pounds less than the group average made $15,572 a year more than women of normal weight and those who were 25 pounds above average earned an average of $13,847 less than an average weight female.  There was not a difference found among men.



Weight Loss Camps Help Future Health Diseases

Weight loss camps reduce the possibility for a person to develop diabetes. Researchers found that obese teens do not need to lose large amounts of weight in order to lower their risk of developing diabetes.  Teens whom reduced their body mass-index by 8% or more had shown improvements in insulin sensitivity and an important risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Lorraine Levitt Katz, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Diabetes Center for Children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia stated in a news release, “this threshold effect that occurs at 8 percent suggests that obese adolescents don’t need to lose enormous amounts of weight to achieve improvements.”  She also mentioned, “the improvements in insulin sensitivity occurred after four months of participating in a lifestyle-modification program.”

113 teens from ages 13 to 17 were included in this study.  Their average BMI at the start was 37.1 and people with a BMI of 35 to 40 are classified to be severely obese.  None of the teens had type 2 diabetes are the beginning of the study, but with their weight they would have a high risk of the disease in the future.  However, attending weight loss camp can help them have lower risks of the diseases.

In the study, the teens were put on a weight loss program that had family based lifestyle changes.  The teens and their parents were taught about healthy eating habits and were encouraged to be more active.  The families attending weekly group counseling sessions and the parents were encouraged to help support their children’s lifestyle change and to become healthy role models.

At weight loss camps children and teens are encouraged to become more active and to eat healthier.  While being encouraged to eat healthier campers are also learning about healthy eating and portion control.  Parents are encourage to support what their kids have learned during their stay at a weight loss camp because it would benefit them for the rest of their lives.


In reference to Even Mild Weight Loss May Lower Diabetes Risk in Obese Teens



Weight Loss Strategies at Camp

sportsPerhaps you have seen some of our campers on MTV, ABC’s 20/20, or in A&E Newsweek, and wanted to find out more about our weight loss camps? How do we get the results you see? Here just a few of the things we do with overweight children to help them on the path to successful weight loss and healthy lifestyle.


This may sound illogical when it comes to weight loss, but the real world is an uncontrolled environment so we offer foods you’ll want to eat when you return home – fun foods like pizza, chicken nuggets (baked, of course!) and hamburgers. The key is portion-controlled meals that are nutritious and tasty, and healthy snacks such as popcorn, fresh fruit, pretzels and ices. In our basic nutrition and cooking classes, we will teach you to make changes in your lifestyle that help you to take and keep the weight off forever.


We focus on activities that teach kids that exercise can be enjoyable, not hard and frustrating. Physical fitness should be fun for everyone, and we schedule all types of events and activities that only get campers involved, working together and building new friendships. From sports (in a no-pressure, non-competitive setting) to arts-and-crafts, adventure courses and performing arts, there’s something to excite every camper.


Children who are trying to lose weight need support from others – our camp provides that encouragement in numerous forms, equipping kids with the proper tools to make better and healthy choices needed for weight loss. We offer a healthy environment with caring counselors, and campers who cheer each other on. All our campers are here for the same reason and strive to encourage and help one another succeed. They return home as very different people, trading unwanted pounds for priceless helpings of self-esteem


Camp Shane has a step-by-step program called CBT to give you the tools for long-term success! You’ll learn about recording what you eat, the exercise you do, and your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This helps keep you focused on your goals, and you’ll become more aware of your eating patterns. Instead of eating when upset, you’ll learn stress management skills to help deal with daily aggravations.

If you are struggling with an overweight child, contact us today for more information or to sign up for one of our summer weight loss camps.


Fat Camps Only Speed Up Kid’s Metabolism for a Short Period

Metabolism is the system that burns energy to sustain life.  The more exercise and work your body does the more energy it uses when slowing down.  Fat camps serve less food and increase activities, which will speed up your metabolism but only for the time attended at the camp.

There are a variety of ways to increase your metabolism.  The most important way to increase your metabolism is to live an active lifestyle.  Aerobic exercise three times a week for at least 40 minutes is important for speeding up your metabolism.  Strength training such as weight training and rock climbing will also increase your metabolism if done three times a week, but fat camps only seek weight loss.

Eating breakfast everyday is essential to speeding up your metabolism, but fat camps do not offer classes to teach the importance of breakfast.  If this is prolonged then your metabolism will slow down and you may start losing momentum when you’re in the gym or just throughout your day in general.

When you are eating healthier with proper portions be sure to eat enough calories to meet your body’s needs.  For successful weight loss keep eating by proper portions and eat healthier options as much as possible.  Fat camps offer small calorie limited meals leaving camper hungry throughout the day.

Fat camps may help an overweight or obese individual lose weight, but that weight will only be off for a certain amount of time.  No classes are provided to teach campers how to make healthier decisions for when they leave camp.  Campers are also encouraged to return to fat camps year after year because they tend to regain their weight and more because of the lack of education about healthy eating.

Fat Camps Do Not Offer Essential Fitness Education

It is important to stay hydrated especially during the hotter months.  Our bodies are made up of 60-70% water, so we need to constantly replenish our water supply.  Fat camps do not teach the importance of hydration and why we need to keep drinking water.

We are always looking for that high sugar and calorie filled soda, juice or sports drink  .The easiest and quickest way to determine your hydration is to look at your urine.  If it’s a light yellow then your body is properly hydrated, but if it’s a dark yellow then you are most likely dehydrated, so drink more water.  If you catch yourself constantly running to the bathroom and your urine is clear, then you are probably drinking too much water, or you may need to excrete that water through sweat.

Fat camps may encourage campers to keep drinking water because of their workouts, but they aren’t necessarily teaching its importance.  Learning about these essentials if very important because it helps our bodies’ function properly.  Fat camps do not provide support guidance to their campers as they losing weight and how to continue losing weight when they leave camp.

Fat Camps Do Not Help Encourage Kids To Adopt Healthy Habits

To be more aware of what you are eating and the amount of how much you eat can help guide you to a healthier lifestyle.  Fat camps do not contribute to healthy habits, their main goal is strictly weight loss.

Typically you should write down what foods, drinks and portion sizes of what you are eating each day during meals and even during snack time.  When you keep a journal of what you are eating you can reflect on your downfalls, and make yourself more aware of your weakness foods.  Fat camps serves smaller portions with a calorie limit that is not enough for the body to function well throughout the day.

We tend to eat in front of a TV screen most of the time. You higher chances of overeating if you are eating while watching TV.  If we are focusing on other things we won’t realize if our bodies are full or hungry.  Try to stay aware of where, what, and how you eat to identify if you are full.

When we are upset, bored, or sad we tend to look for food for comfort.  Do not let your emotions decide whether you should eat.  Only eat when you are truly hungry.

Fat camps do not help the future of their campers.  They do not educate them how to eat properly or give advice about changing behaviors because of the weight loss.  Campers end up returning summer after summer because they did not maintain a healthy weight after they left camp.

Fat Camps Can Not Prevent Future Weight Gain

During the holidays we tend to eat a little more and possibly gain a little more. People should learn how to control their eating habits especially during holidays, but fat camps do not offer that education.
Friends and family will pass baked goods to you and it’s hard to say no. Even just simply looking for healthier recipes that cut down fat and sugar.
Although holidays should be enjoyable they tend to be stressful with the gifts, parties, and family gatherings in so little time, so try to control your stress. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan something, think ahead.
Holiday parties tend to have lots of junk food and rarely any healthy options.
Bringing a healthy dish would not be a bad idea. Never show up to a party on an empty stomach because that’s the easiest way to overeat, so eat something light before you go.
Prepare meals with the healthiest alternatives. Don’t serve the food where the family eats; keep the food in a separate area from where you eat. Serve everyone the same proper portions each mealtime.

Fat camps don’t offer these types of tips to their campers to encourage continuous weight loss. Campers can leave help happy with the results, but they won’t be happy when they return the next summer because they did not get the supporting guidance they need to maintain a healthier weight. With proper education you can learn to enjoy yourself better.

Fat Camps – Helping With The Emotional Side of Teen Obesity

They used to be called “Fat Camps” and they might as well have been called “Detention Camps”, as they used military-like exercises, starvation dieting, and punitive jibes and commands to keep their campers’ noses to the grindstone.
Couple this with the fact that some of the campers were teens mixed in amongst the adults of all ages, therefore assuring it was the parents who locked their kids up demanding they lose weight…or else… and you had an all-around recipe for weight loss disaster.

Kids came out pounds thinner, but far more traumatized and with even lower self-esteem than when they went it.

Thankfully times have changed. Now there exists reputable weight loss camps specifically designed for teens that addresses their weight issues from a far more well-rounded approach–dealing with the body and spirit of the teen and considering the emotional side of teenage obesity.

Counselors at such reputable weight loss camps have been given sensitivity training and have been taught how to gently coax from the teens deeply buried feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem to the surface.

Bullying, jeering, or mocking are discouraged and exposed for the negative behaviors that they are. Campers are encouraged to share their feelings with other campers, many of whom have faced the same problems and challenges.

Shy kids are coaxed carefully and with great patience and not rushed to reveal too much until they are ready. Positive reinforcement makes that time come all the sooner. Teamwork–and more importantly–team support is given for individual efforts as well as efforts undertaken as a team (and everyone makes the team.)

Overweight teens often learn to make excuses for their obesity (“I am big-boned like my mother” or “My dad was fat when he was in high school.”) These excuses are understandable, but not allowed to stand at weight loss camp. Rather they are brought out in the open so they can be dealt with. Once teenagers learn the nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices they need to lose the weight (and keep it off), the excuses are no longer necessary and fade away.

Soon the layers of shame and humiliation every obese teen is wrapped in begin to peel away too. What stands in their place is a slimmer, confident, and prouder young person–one who has a plan to take the weight off, keep the weight off and live a healthy life–one in which they are in control. Their future looks much brighter.

Why is Camp Shane NOT a fat camp?

Camp Shane is based on the model of a traditional camp, with all the fitness activities, sports and special events that the best-equipped traditional camps have. We don’t obsess over dieting, the emphasis is on friends, fitness and fun! We work on learning or improving physical skills so that campers can continue to be active after camp, learning about nutrition so that campers can make healthier food choices at home, and working on self-esteem issues that help campers build confidence in their ability to succeed.

Camp Shane is not a fat camp because we promote improving health for the long-term, not losing as much weight as possible in the shortest time possible. Fat camps do not mind if the weight returns; in fact, they are happy to get repeat business.

At Camp Shane, we do not care if you are 0, 10 or 50 pounds overweight – in fact, we have many campers who have achieve weight loss results but return for the good times and good friends. The fat camp mentality is part of a culture that demands makeovers – the faster and more extreme the better. But Camp Shane works to internalize the changes that make losing weight about better health choices…NOT thinness at any cost.

We encourage our campers to want to look their best, which we define as healthy and fit. We discourage trying to achieve the impossible perfection of the teen supermodel, which can promote psychological problems, including eating disorders. Often, children don’t want to tell their friends they are going to Camp Shane because of the fat camp stigma, but when they return home, healthier, more confident, and yes, thinner, they love to share stories of the great time they had and are proud of what they have accomplished.

Diet Camp – How It Can Help

Peer Pressure Can Be A Good Thing

Let’s face it: We are a nation of Couch Potatoes and our “Small Fries” are learning from us how to sit in front of the TV until our rear ends expand to fill the seat.

What parent hasn’t heard the whine, “I’m bored”? In previous generations, a mom or dad might reply, “Go outside and play”. We don’t hear that –or say that–much anymore and it’s time we do. Our children and ourselves would benefit. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

– Head out for a game of tennis or pickup basketball in the driveway with your kid.

– Ask them to teach you to use their skateboard or relive your own youth by strapping on a pair of rollerblades (moms can usually fit into ones their sons outgrow).

– Take a hike with your kids–even if its just around the neighborhood.

– Invent a scavenger hunt.

– Walk the dog. Walk the neighbors’ dog.

– Plan a family camping trip (this includes pitching the tent, collecting wood for the campfire, cleaning up–and everyone helps with every chore). Once your kids find out they love camping, consider sending them to a summer weight loss camp for a few weeks.

– Join the neighborhood “Y’ and enter into swim meets and other competitive family team sports.

– Plant a garden with your kids (everybody digs and weeds and everybody gets to plant what they want.)

– Clean the attic and have a rummage sale (split the proceeds with your kids in exchange for their manual labor.)

– For family movie night,rent old swashbuckler movies like Robin Hood and Zorro (or enjoy Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean) and take up archery and fencing as family activities.

– Join a dojo with your children and practice martial arts.

– Teach your teenage daughter to belly (not pole) dance.

– Take up boxing and help your whole family take out any tension on the speed bag hung in your basement.

– Make Twister the choice for family game night (keep the Ben Gay handy if you are over 40).

– Split wood for next year’s fires (top lumberjack honors earn a respite from family chores for a week).

– Run–as a family–in a marathon or for a charity.

– Sign your kids up for tap or ballet and join in (or take ballroom dance with your spouse) then have a dance-off with invited judges.

– Take up horseback riding–offer to muck out the stables and bale hay in exchange for more lessons.

– Go apple picking in season.

– Offer to babysit some neighborhood toddlers (take turns doing the chasing.)

Use your imagination to add to this list. The idea is to keep moving and to make that moving fun for all. Involve your kids–engage their minds and their bodies will follow and they will be on a path of better health forever.

Fitness Camp – The Power of Example in Child/Teen Weight Loss

When your kids were small, your mother might have cautioned you against saying something in front of them with the time-worn phrase, “Little pitchers have big ears” meaning children hear and understand more than you think.

Well, those little pitchers have big eyes too and they don’t stop watching you just because they are now older (even when they are teens). Your every move is watched and even emulated. When it comes to weight loss and healthy eating habits, you can provide a good example (or a bad one.) This is particularly important for when your kid returns home from weight loss camp. You don’t want to undo all the good results they have achieved, so now is the time to look to your own diet and exercise habits.

Consider starting the day with some stretches –a habit that will be useful well into the years when you are a grandparents. If you do these on your living room floor, your kids will notice as they bound by. Invite them to join in.

Next comes breakfast, the most important meal for a reason, it is the fuel for the day. Ask your kids to research which juices and fruits are best for your family and have them report the results to you–then buy (or better still-squeeze the juices). Let them experiment with juice combinations too. Make sure there are several healthy cereals available for those rushed mornings, as well as yogurt, fresh fruit, and a handy blender for a dash-for-the-door smoothie. Don’t you dare limit yourself to a cup of coffee because you are late for work!

Pack your healthy lunch for work and let our kid pack their own lunches from the ingredients you’ve assembled. Make sure you have nuts and fruit and whole grains in transportable pieces for ease of use. Banish soda and soft drinks from your house. Buy a water filter pitcher and keep plenty of organic juices around. Start monitoring your own fluid intake–making sure you get plenty of liquid to flush your kidneys. Trade in whole mile for low-fat milk in your refrigerator. Investigate drinking soy milk or almond milk instead–as your kids for their opinions of each.

Keep fresh fruit, like apples or dried fruit in the winter, for a quick handful of energy. Replace them (uncomplainingly) when your kids eat them all. Substitute sources of protein (other than meat) when possible–find out what type of beans (kidney, navy, garbanzo) and tofu your kids like and start eating them yourself.

Buy a rice cooker and brown rice. Keep it and salt-free soy sauce handy. A bowl of low-fat milk, honey, and rice even make a great sweet substitute.

Invite your kids out for an after-dinner walk (and, if you are lucky, talk. Tell them you enjoy their company and love talking things over with them.) Enjoy a light dessert, like natural sorbet or frozen yogurt, when you return and throw out the cookies and cakes (if you find yourself jumping in the car and driving to the store for a fattening dessert at night, you might need to visit an adult weight loss camp.)

Join a gym with a family membership. Set a schedule when you will go and stick to it. Let your kids know the schedule will be kept and that they are always invited and will provide the ride. Buy a bike and use it. Train for a marathon–in front of the whole family. Get them rooting for you. Then follow through on that and all your healthy changes. When they see your commitment, they will know you are serious and it can start the gears in their brains a-turning.

Parenting doesn’t have to be all, “Do it because I said so”! It can be “Do what I do,” if you utilize the power of example.