Some weight loss camps say they offer a cognitive-behavioral weight loss program. Then, as parents do their homework, they sometimes discover that:
- The camp’s “program” consists of food restrictions and unsustainable amounts of exercise.
- The experts listed on their website are contractors who come and go — or they haven’t been involved in the camp’s program for years.
- The cognitive-behavior component turns out to be occasional, optional classes that cost extra, often led by college students, not professionals
- There’s no structured, planned real-world practice in restaurants, groceries, local attractions or cooking classes where campers actually practice their new habits and turn them into instinctive responses.
- Your camper doesn’t get an individually assigned professional, degreed behavior coach who works with them one-on-one.
- The “at home” plan is a boilerplate photocopied packet of generic advice, not a specific plan tailored to your camper’s unique challenges, developed by your camper in collaboration with their own behavior coach.
- And after camp, if you or your camper want individual support from trained professional weight loss therapists or help coordinating your child’s needs with teachers, principals, counselors or doctors, that’s extra too, if it’s available at all.
This handy at-a-glance reference guide will help you tell truth from marketing so you can choose the right weight loss camp for your child, whether they’re a teenager or young adult.