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Weight no longer

Obesity network seeks participants for 'boot camp'

- July 15, 2008

Extra weight around the waist increases a person's risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Obesity boot camp sounds tough, and it is. Even so, participants who struggle with their weight aren’t expected to do lunges, squats and jumping jacks. But they will be asked to analyze their personal lifestyle, eating and coping behaviors.

Pioneered by Capital Health’s Obesity Network, the pilot program will kick off Wednesday, July 23 with employees of Halifax’s hospitals and health centres. And now it's also now open to employees of Dalhousie University. People who are interested in participating should register as soon as possible. Click here for a brochure (MS Word).

Organizers hope to launch the second session for the general public in September.

Obesity is linked to more than 10 medical risk factors. The definition of obesity is a body mass index greater or equal to 30. (Calculate your BMI at http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/). A waist circumference greater than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men indicates abdominal obesity. 

“We’ve been calling them boot camps—but ‘boot camps’ are in quotations,” says Diana Lawlor, a nurse practitioner with the Obesity Network. “The camps will be psychology-based. For example, we’ll be examining why so many people are obese. What are the psychological traps to weight loss? How do we overcome them? And how do people commit to change?”

The camps, focusing on the multiple physical, medical and emotional issues of being overweight, will consist of four sessions a year for 100 to 200 people per camp. Along with Ms. Lawlor, the camps will be facilitated by health psychologist Michael Vallis, endocrinologist Tom Ransom, surgeon Jim Ellsmere and clinical dietician Janet Plowman.

If interested in participating, contact Diana Lawlor by e-mailing Diana.Lawlor@cdha.nshealth.ca.


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