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An Innovative Summer Camp Program Improves Weight and Self-esteem in Obese Children

Wong, William W*,‡; Abrams, Stephanie H†,‡; Mikhail, Carmen†,‡; Terrazas, Norma L; Wilson, Theresa A*,‡; Arceo, Diana; Mrowczynski, Paula K; King, Kristi L; Stansel, Amanda D; Albright, Ashley N; Barlow, Sarah E†,‡; Brown, Kimberly O§; Brown, Jason D§; Klish, William J†,‡

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: October 2009 - Volume 49 - Issue 4 - p 493–497
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31819b5da2
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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).

*USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, USA

Texas Children's Hospital, USA

Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, USA

§Cho-Yeh Camp and Conference Center, Inc, Livingston, Texas, USA

Received 19 June, 2008

Accepted 7 January, 2009

Address correspondence and reprint requests to William W. Wong, PhD, USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, 1100 Bates S, Houston, TX 77030 (e-mail:

The project is partially supported by funds from the Houston Endowment.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.