Scared Skinny: Weight-Loss Boot Camp Is Tough but Effective

July 31, 2000 — An ultra-strict boot camp program that promotes gradual weight misfortune through work out, calorie tallying, and week after week weigh-ins and bolster meetings really does help members lose weight for good, agreeing to comes about of a five-year consider.

One of the hardest parts of losing weight is keeping up the misfortune, but members who remained with the Trevose Behavior Adjustment Program misplaced about one-fifth of their original body weight and kept it off for five a long time, according to the think about distributed within the Universal Journal of Corpulence. More than half of Americans are overweight or stout, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Organized.

Serving 1,200 people in 62 areas in Unused Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania, the Trevose Behavior Modification Program is staffed entirely by volunteers and charges no fees, but “disappointments” are kicked out of the program on the off chance that they fail to attend the hourlong, weekly gatherings or don’t lose 15% of their excess weight during the primary five weeks.

The program was established in 1970 by Albert Stunkard, MD, executive of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Obesity Investigate Clinic, along side an insurance official named David S. Zelitch, who lost 100 pounds after a heart attack — and kept it off.

The think about looked at more than 300 individuals who applied to the program in 1992 and 1993. Numerous of the applicants changed their minds and/or were rejected since they did not meet program criteria. Of 202 who started the program, 105 remained for a year, 59 were still in it after three years, and 39 people finished five years. Participants who followed the regimen for two years misplaced an average of 19% of their unique weight. After five years, they were still 17% lighter than their unique weight, the think about appeared.

Participants lost 2.4 times as much weight in two years as patients, in another study, who took the prescription count calories pill Xenical.

To connect the program, participants must be profoundly propelled to lose weight. As it were individuals who have to be compelled to lose 20 to 100 pounds can connect. The program does not accept “morbidly obese” individuals, as such people should lose weight beneath the direction of doctors, says member, program director, and think about creator Mary L. Jackson, director of the Trevose Behavior Adjustment Program based in Trevose, Pa.

“We do it for the long term, whereas a lot of other programs do it until a participant loses weight,” she tells WebMD. “It’s a really taught program, and it’s not for everybody. You’ve got to keep records, go to meetings, and meet minimal weight misfortune requirements.” Jackson joined the program in 1975 and misplaced 100 pounds. She became co-director in 1976. Presently, 25 years later, she has kept off 80 to 85 pounds.

Most of the existing Trevose Behavior Alteration Program bunches have long waiting lists, Jackson says, but modern bunches may begin soon.

One obesity expert who was not involved in the consider says there’s a simple reason the Trevose program is so effective: “If you do not do a good work, you’re immediately kicked out,” says Steven Peiken, MD, a teacher of medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center and head of gastroenterology at Cooper Hospital, both in Camden, N.J.

But there’s hope for the numerous people who don’t do well with such programs, he tells WebMD.

“Some of these individuals need offer assistance controling their appetite, feeling more full, or anticipating the assimilation of fat in their diet,” he says. “Luckily, there are all types of medicines available for individuals who can’t get by with behavior alterations alone.

“Weight is such a complex, complicated issue that no single treatment will work for everybody.”

To check for openings within the Trevose Behavior Adjustment Program, visit the group’s web location at

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