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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: An innovative summer camp program improves weight and self-esteem in obese children

item Wong, William -
item Abrams, Stephanie -
item Mikhail, Carmen -
item Terrazas, Norma -
item Wilson, Theresa -
item Arceo, Diana -
item Mrowczynski, Paula -
item King, Kristi -
item Stansel, Amanda -
item Albright, Ashley -
item Barlow, Sarah -
item Brown, Kimberly -
item Brown, Jason -
item Klish, William -

Submitted to: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2009
Publication Date: October 10, 2009
Citation: Wong, W.W., Abrams, S.H., Mikhail, C., Terrazas, N.L., Wilson, T.A., Arceo, D., Mrowczynski, P.K., King, K.L., Stansel, A.D., Albright, A.N., Barlow, S.E., Brown, K.O., Brown, J.D., Klish, W.J. 2009. An innovative summer camp program improves weight and self-esteem in obese children. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 49(4):493-497.

Interpretive Summary: Obese children are known to have low self-esteem. A residential summer camp limited to obese children might offer an opportunity for these children to feel comfortable and to learn the skills to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We enrolled 21 obese children in a 2-week pilot summer camp program that offered fun, non-competitive but challenging physical activities, along with nutrition and behavior lessons. At the end of the 2-week program, all the children showed significant improvement in body weight, self-esteem, number of sit-ups, blood pressure and heart rate. The results indicated that the summer camp is effective in the treatment of childhood obesity.

Technical Abstract: To determine the potential benefits of a residential summer camp to treat childhood obesity, 21 obese, multiethnic children (aged 11.4 +/- 1.4 years; body mass index [BMI] percentile 98.5 +/- 1.4; BMI z score 2.30 +/- 0.33) from a diverse socioeconomic background were enrolled in a 2-week summer camp program. Significant improvements (P < 0.04) were observed in self-esteem (+0.27 +/- 0.33 point), body weight (-3.7 +/- 1.2 kg), BMI (-1.60 +/- 0.48 kg/m2), BMI z score (-0.12 +/- 0.06), number of curl ups (+10.9 +/- 21.5), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (-10.8 +/- 13.4 and -9.4 +/- 5.5 mmHg, respectively), and heart rate (-8.2 +/- 12.7 bpm).

Last Modified: 7/28/2016