Helaine Ciporen: Obesity leads to so many other problems. I want to know more about your position as Medical Advisor for the MindStream Academy. What is that program all about? How did MindStream get started?
Dr. David Katz: Ray Travaglione,who ran a high school for elite athletes, saw the problem of childhood obesity and recognized that kids with severe obesity really were not getting the resources they need. And I think in particular, Ray deserves credit for recognizing that there is an overlap between childhood obesity and the problem in childhood of bullying. So these kids are essentially subject to the quintessential addition of insult to injury on a daily basis. So, Ray established MindStream Academy, a fully accredited boarding school for teens with severe obesity.
It’s astounding, but I think more important than what they lose (an average of 50 pounds in a semester) is what they find, at Mindstream. They find themselves. They find their way back to life. And they end with a whole new lease on life and not only with better health, mental and physical health. This works because the instruction here is not involved in anything outlandish to lose the weight. Students are just learning skills, skills for eating, exercising, time management, skills for shopping and cooking.
They’re able to pay it forward too and teach their families and communities.They’re able to retain those skills. It’s like learning to ride a bike. You don’t forget once you know. (To read full interview CLICK HERE)
For more info on Mindstream, see their website: http://www.mindstreamacademy.com/