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Up Front: Weighty Kids Are A Feast For Fat Camps

By Whitney Sparks - Edited by Brian Hindo

Going off to spend a slim-down summer has lost some of its stigma. The number of accredited U.S. weight-loss camps has nearly doubled in the past five years, says the American Camping Assn. And these days the camps emphasize a less militarized fitness regimen in favor of "wellness."

That's helping to boost enrollments. At Camp Shane in Ferndale, N.Y., owner Dave Ettenberg focuses on kids' emotions as well as their caloric intake. The camp has hosted kids for 37 years and has seen attendance nearly double in the past 15 years, to more than 800 this summer.

At the Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Julian Krinsky Canyon Ranch Young Adult Summer Program, teens choose from a healthy buffet and more than 100 exercise options.

Another reason for the boom: Today's parents are less patient when their progeny start packing on pounds. Still, Ettenberg says, "the kids were heavier 30 years ago."

Source: Business Week - July 25, 2005