Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: An innovative summer camp program improves weight and self-esteem in obese children) Author
Submitted to: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2009
Publication Date: 10/10/2009
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).