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Leading American Programmes for Teen Weight Loss Launch First Teen Weight Loss Camp in the U.K.

PENRITH, United Kingdom, May 2 /PRNewswire/ --

- Camp Wellspring U.K. Focuses on Behavioural and Emotional Therapies, as Well as Diet and Exercise, to Achieve Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss

U.S.-based Wellspring Camps today announced the establishment of Wellspring U.K., Britain's first comprehensive, scientifically based summer weight loss camp for teens ages 12 to 17. The programme focuses not just on weight loss through diet and activity management, but also addresses the psychological and emotional issues that often prevent successful weight loss by sustaining problematic eating and inactivity. Through a combination of cognitive-behavioural therapy, an introduction to healthy eating habits, and daily exercise and adventure activities, campers at Wellspring's U.S. programmes typically lose 2 kilograms per week during camp, and continue to lose weight after leaving the program.

The camp, located in the Lake District and based on the Cumbria campus of the University of Central Lancashire, is the first programme to be established outside the U.S. for Healthy Living Academies, the organization that manages Wellspring Camps. Healthy Living Academies is America's leader in the treatment of obesity in young people.

"Obesity and excess weight are the most serious health issues facing British children," said Deb Sweeney Whitmore, Director of Wellspring U.K. "In fact, a recent study by the Health and Social Care Information Centre revealed that in 2004, 24 percent of 11- to 15-year-old boys were obese, along with 25 percent of 11- to 15-year-old girls -- nearly double the rate of 10 years earlier. Up until now, treatment options for significantly overweight children and teens have been limited and rarely effective," Whitmore added. "Wellspring U.K. was designed by top researchers as a healthy lifestyle immersion program that introduces both the teen and his or her family to a new lifestyle and a new way of thinking."

"We welcome Wellspring to England, and are delighted that they will be partnering with UCLan Penrith," said Vice-Chancellor Dr. Malcolm McVicar of the University of Central Lancashire. "Wellspring's programmes have demonstrated the best results ever recorded by any teen weight loss programmes in the U.S. or Great Britain."

According to Dr. Daniel Kirschenbaum, clinical director of Healthy Living Academies and Wellspring Camps, the average participant loses substantial weight at camp, and 91 percent of students maintain their weight loss or continue to lose weight at home. The average student loses an additional 3.4 kilograms over the next six months at home.

Wellspring U.K. campers will be provided a low-fat, low-calorie-density diet and will participate in a wide range of adventure activities in the Lake District National Park, including rock climbing, ghyll scrambling, abseiling, canoeing and backpacking. Research has demonstrated that outdoor adventure activities may be more effective for producing successful long-term weight control than more typical sports or fitness activities. Students also will participate in sports on the UCLan Cumbria campus, with the goal of achieving over 10,000 steps per day, as measured on a pedometre.

In past years, a number of U.K. families have flown their children to Wellspring programmes in America. An upcoming series on U.K.'s Channel 5, entitled "I Know What You Ate Last Summer," chronicles the experience of six British students who participated in Wellspring's California programme in 2005.

Healthy Living Academies (including Wellspring Camps) is a division of Aspen Education Group, which operates residential schools and summer programmes addressing America's crisis of pediatric and adolescent obesity. According to studies, Healthy Living Academies' Wellspring Camps have achieved the best short-term and longer-term results ever reported for weight loss camps in the U.S. To learn more, visit or call +07999-657120.

Aspen Education Group is recognized as the leading provider of education programmes for struggling or underachieving young people. Aspen's 33 programmes in America provide a range of therapeutic interventions, including boarding schools, residential treatment and wilderness therapy. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Wellspring Camps

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