Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

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: 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).

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page