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March 11, 2001

Community Resources, Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Dallas, Texas, USA:

My mother has diabetes and weighs 268 pounds. She can not take diet pills to lose weight, so her feet are getting swollen again. She wants to lose the weight and she feels she needs more help, but she lives in a small town where gyms and private trainers are not available, and her doctor is three hours away. She wants to go to an adult weight loss camp for people with diabetes, since he feels this is the best thing for her. However, I have been researching adult weight loss camps for people with diabetes, and I cannot find anything. Help me help my mom.


Unfortunately, I do not know of any camp programs for adults that would meet your mom’s needs. The closest thing I’m aware of are health spas such as Canyon Ranch and others which offer resident programs on healthy living. Some of them are specific to health problems, including diabetes. The major drawback is the extreme expense of these facilities. They are the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” sort of set-up.

The question is how to capitalize on your mother’s current interest in losing weight and improving her health. The type of programs that have greatest success with maintaining long-term improvements in body composition and weight are those that support people to get out of the diet mentality and work on eating their normal and preferred foods with greater attention to eating when hungry and stopping when full. When combined with a permanent modest increase in physical activity, these represent a way to stay sane about food, improve health, and maintain improvements over time.

The University of California at San Francisco has such a program called, “The Solution.” Your mother can read about this approach to long-term weight management in either of two books: The Solution and The Solution: 6 Winning Ways to Permanent Weight Loss both written by Laurel Mellin.

Additional comments from Craig Broadhurst:

Try Structure House at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.


[Editor’s comment: Look at the links at Healthy Weight at MedEMall.