ASPEN EDUCATION GROUP
New Studies Reveal Weight
Loss Academies for Kids Are
Unprecedented Results In Fighting Childhood Obesity
July 31, 2006
Some students lost almost half their body weight during a six-month
stint at Aspen Education Group's Healthy Living Academies' weight
loss programs. But could they keep it off after leaving the structured
and rigorously health-focused academies? According to results
of follow-up studies with students who completed the Healthy
Living Academies weight loss programs in 2005, the answer is
a resounding "yes!"
The studies followed the weight loss results of students attending
the Academy of the Sierras weight loss boarding school and Wellspring
Camps. The first class of students who attended Academy of the
Sierras in Reedley, CA for at least six months lost an average
of 81 lbs. during the program, and had successfully maintained
their entire weight loss at the 10-month follow-up interval.
In a separate study, 212 campers who attended Wellspring Camps
for at least four weeks not only maintained their average weight
loss of 21 lbs. for six to nine months after returning home from
camp, but had lost an additional five lbs. at the six- to nine-month
"These results are unprecedented in the history of weight
loss research," says Dr. Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, a professor
at Northwestern University Medical School and Clinical Director
of Healthy Living Academies programs. "The scientific community
has never seen weight loss programs consistently produce such
rapid and sizeable weight losses that were so well tolerated
and maintained over time. The 80-pound average weight loss at
the Academy of the Sierras is unparalleled, with the possible
exception of far more risky bariatric surgeries."
Dr. Kirschenbaum added that these results were consistent with
2004 findings from Wellspring Camps. "In 2004, we studied
79 campers who lost an average of 17 lbs. and found that six
to nine months later, they had lost an additional 7.4 lbs."
The results at Academy of the Sierras (AOS) can be attributed
to a strong program based in the science of weight loss and cognitive-behavioral
therapy, according to AOS Executive Director Phil Obbard. "Students
who remain for an extended period of time in a structured, healthy
environment that supports good nutrition and daily activity routinely
show dramatic improvements in self-esteem, mood and outlook.
The fact that students maintained weight losses is a testament
to their growth and overall emotional well-being."
"These weight loss results demonstrate that there is hope
for many of today's overweight and obese children," said
Elliot Sainer, CEO of Aspen Education Group. "With nearly
one-third of American children overweight or obese, parents must
give their kids the opportunity to learn new skills and behaviors
that will lead to long and healthy lives."
Unlike existing "diet camps," Healthy Living Academies'
programs were designed by leading researchers using current scientific
understanding of the most effective approaches to safe weight
loss and permanent behavioral and lifestyle changes. Academy
of the Sierras and Wellspring Camps provide behavioral training,
such as self- monitoring and goal-setting, for successful long-term
weight control, and employ master's- and doctoral-level therapists
to provide cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps campers stay
committed to permanent lifestyle change. They also focus on family
involvement and have a unique Internet-based "after-care" program.
Healthy Living Academies operates residential schools and summer
programs addressing America's crisis of pediatric and adolescent
obesity. Healthy Living Academies programs include Academy of
the Sierras in California, a new campus opening in North Carolina
in 2006, Wellspring New York, Wellspring Adventure Camp, Wellspring
Adventure Camp California, Wellspring Family Camp, and Wellspring
United Kingdom. To learn more about Academy of the Sierras, Wellspring
Camps or Healthy Living Academies, visit www.healthylivingacademies.com or call 866-364-0808.
Healthy Living Academies is a division of Aspen Education Group,
the nation's leading provider of education programs for struggling
or underachieving young people. With over 30 programs in 12 states
and the United Kingdom, Aspen provides to students and families
a comprehensive range of therapeutic interventions, including
boarding schools, residential treatment and wilderness therapy.