Weight loss camp

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"Fat camp" redirects here. For other uses, see Fat camp (disambiguation).
"Fat farm" redirects here. For the clothing line, see Phat Farm.

A weight loss camp, weight loss resort, retreat, or holiday, is a type of residential program where people who are overweight or obese go to lose weight through exercise and lifestyle changes. In common parlance the terms "fat camp" and"fat farm" are also often used (either humorously or pejoratively) to refer to these programs. Weight loss camps typically provide nutrition classes, weekly weigh-ins, and a variety of classes and activities designed for weight loss.

The goal of the camps is to enhance the health of the campers, help them lose weight, raise their self-confidence and self-image, as well as teach them healthy life skills and choices.[1] These camps provide weight-loss results of two to five pounds per week on average.[1] In order to lose such pounds per week, participants must cut down the amount of calories they intake, taking food and beverages into account.[2] However, the more overweight the camper, the more they generally lose in these programs. The effectiveness of these summer camps varies widely and usually depends on the quality of the individual program and biochemistry of the attending campers.[citation needed] Adolescents have joined programs over the years with many gaining self-confidence and satisfaction along the way.[3]

Newer programs not only focus on weight loss, but also on changing behavior through a combination of training on self-regulatory behaviors and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to ensure that weight loss persists long after campers return home.[1] Most experts believe these are key elements of an effective program.[4]

A number of weight loss camps are currently in operation in the United States, Canada, and throughout Europe. These camps vary greatly in terms of the methods used and outcomes (both long-term and short-term) experienced by campers.[5] Some attendees experience long-term changes in health and physical fitness, while others gradually or immediately go back to overeating. One of the main determining factors appears to be support from other family members and friends.[citation needed]

In an effort to help maintain post-camp weight loss, some camps now offer more one-on-one training[6] and/or nutritional counseling and life coaching as a way to educate and motivate long-term success.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ellin, Abby (June 28, 2005). "Are Fat Camps A Solution?". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/aim_hwt.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v27/n6/full/0802290a.html
  4. ^ Arehart-Treichel, Joan (August 3, 2007). "ACBT Teaches Obese People How to Think Thin". Psychiatric News. 
  5. ^ Gordon, Debra (February 2007). "The Growing Problem of Childhood Obesity". Consumers Digest. 
  6. ^ Shane, Camp (November 10, 2012). "Exercise. Will I be able to keep it up?". Camp Shane. 

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