When weight-loss camp is too expensive

Filed under: Teens, Mealtime, Day Care & Education, Going Green, Medical Conditions, Nutrition: Health, Health & Safety: Babies, Places To Go, Work Life, Resources

Being overweight is tough for a kid. There are many options toward weight loss, but some are more (or less) appealing than others. For many, over the years, the weight-loss camp has been a dream. But, while "fat camp" is almost as American as apple pie, it's now going the way of many other American dreams--it's too darned expensive to attend. Like any other camp, weight-loss camp costs money to run and maintain. With more than nine million children who are considered obese in this country, such camp can seem like a knight in shining armor for families struggling to get their kids' weight under control. The weight-loss camps, while they can be affective, are far from free. Few to none accept insurance.

The government generally offers no more assistance than insurance companies. Instead the children rely on their essay writing skills and other means to win scholarships to attend. Yes, even weight loss camp is something only possible for the rich. Corporate sponsorship is one way to help get kids who can't afford the often more than $1,000-a-week pricetag what they need. Advocacy groups are being formed, such as the Childhood Obesity Treatment in Action. Some tax deductions are coming into play, and some insurance is starting to cover a portion of the cost--mostly in the cognitive behavior area.

But is it enough? Rarely. And financial cost is to say nothing of the emotional cost to the children, who are often left with either feeling exploited by their situation--their essays and their experiences become the property of the camp, who share that information freely with the media in hopes of growing the industry--and/or have to deal with life after camp, which can be even harder than before they found their salvation. While most children lose some portion of their body weight at the camps, few manage to keep it off after returning to the real world.

Pic by skampy.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.