While many children, teens and adults enrolled in these programs lose weight and return home fitter, little data exists in the literature about whether these outcomes are permanent. Many experts suggest that the results are short-lived because true behavioral change cannot occur in the absence of teaching how to eat (opposed to how to restrict/diet) and without learning how to deal with the emotions and stresses that trigger overeating. Finally, experts also questioned - and still do -- whether younger age campers are emotionally ready to create long-term changes, regardless of the program curriculum.
Weight loss is more efficient and can be helpful in creating healthy lifestyle behaviors if the weight loss program is followed in an adult weight loss camp. These conditions should be accomplished if you want to follow an adult weight loss camp:
o Is the overall philosophy geared towards weight loss at any cost, or is it focused on creating healthy lifestyles that promote healthy weights?
o How do the various components of the program support that philosophy to achieve the desired results?
o Does the staff include qualified counselors, health professionals such as nutritionists, registered dietitians, psychologists and exercise physiologists?
o Is the program tailored to meet individual needs; how many participants does the program allow per session?
o Is counseling available to help make changes in eating and lifestyle choices?
o Does the program include stress management and a behavioral component dealing with emotional aspects of eating?
o What aftercare support is provided? How long does this last?
The result obtained in the adult weight loss camps shows us that the group work is more efficient than working alone. Some causes of these result are the strictly program applied by the dieters, the food that contains the right calorie intake for weight loss, and the fact that everyone makes new friends and the atmosphere is friendly. There are also non-diet philosophy of an adult weight loss camp small-sized program -- where the emphasis is on helping each adult successfully attain a healthy weight, feel good about itself and have fun in the process -- remains the same as it was conceived in the beginning of these organizations, only modified to meet the changing needs and realities of today's busy adult.