2. Biostatistician Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, USA.
3. Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, USA.
Background: Summertime is particularly problematic for obese youth, as this unstructured time typically shows accelerated weight gain. We hypothesized that obese adolescents participating in a pilot summer camp program, developed in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, would demonstrate significant weight loss and improvement of metabolic parameters.
Methods: Obese and overweight adolescent males between ages 13 and 18 were eligible for enrollment. BMI (kg/m²) and additional anthropometric and metabolic measurements were measured at the start and end of the 4 week camp.
Results: Thirteen participants enrolled and ten participants with the mean age of 16.1 years finished camp. Among these ten participants, BMI decreased by 9.1% (40.2±13.0 kg/m² vs. 36.5±12.0 kg/m²; p<0.001). Waist circumference decreased by 7.4% (48.4±9.6 cm vs. 44.9±9.4 cm; p<0.001), and fasting glucose levels decreased by 23.1% (84 mg/dL vs. 62 mg/dL; p=0.001).
Conclusions: BMI and metabolic parameters significantly improved after 4 weeks of camp. Partnering with the Boy Scouts of America is an innovative approach to creating a summer weight management camp for adolescents.
Keywords: Childhood obesity, weight loss treatment, blood pressure, hyperlipidemia