The world's first boarding school for overweight children, teens and young adults has started a novel college weight loss program, and according to recent reports, it's been a huge success. In fact, it's been such a hit they're getting demands to expand the program; enrollment has doubled since last year.
Think of it like the biggest loser for young adults. The programs focus on fitness and overall health. Are credits earned for total pounds lost? Not exactly. There are still regular classes, but there is an overall focus on achieving and maintaining a healthy life style.
At the Academy of the Sierras (AOS), students are losing an average of three pounds a week! That's quite dramatic, especially when you consider most college students face the opposite problem. At AOS, peer pressure isn't on for who can eat the most burgers or drink the most pitchers of beer; rather, they support each other in their achieving their weight loss goals.
"The AOS weight loss program focuses on three main components, including a low-fat diet, a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, and lifestyle change through cognitive-behavioral therapy," a press release explained. "Students work with Behavioral Coaches and therapists to learn about self-monitoring what they eat and exercise habits. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps students change their habits, improve stress management, and manage frustration."
It's not just about learning about health, it's about applying the knowledge with others who are keen to improve their lives.
"It was so convenient to add the AOS program to my regular class schedule and the teachers and other students kept me motivated to exercise regularly and eat right," said student Rod Rezvani who has lost nearly 150 lbs since he joined last semester. "Our class got really close, like a big family. It helped that we were all working toward the same goal - to get healthy."