Aspen Education Group launched the nation’s first weight loss school in 2004. Academy of the Sierras is a clinically based residential weight loss program in a boarding school setting. Students continue their academics while they undergo cognitive behavioral therapy and nutritional counseling as well as physical education. Through education and counseling students learn the emotional and behavioral issues that have contributed to their obesity. The goal of Academy of the Sierras is to help students who have continually failed to maintain a healthy weight the opportunity to learn effective life skills to lose weight and keep it off. The first year results were more than clinically significant; they were unprecedented. Actual weight lost averaged an unprecedented 85 lbs (-3.4 lbs. per week). The degree of weight change observed at AOS has never been reported in treatment programs for obese children and adolescents. These weight losses were accompanied by substantial improvements in fitness and moods. The process measures also showed that the students tolerated the diet quite comfortably and participated very effectively in the cognitive behavioral therapy and activities aspects of the program.

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