Boarding School To Help Obese Teens Lose Weight Will Open in Reedley
A boarding school intended to help obese children lose weight and learn healthy lifestyles will open in Reedley in September, the Washington Times reports. Officials for the school, called Academy of the Sierras, say it will be the first school in the nation to target children who are at least 30 pounds overweight (Higgins, Washington Times, 6/30). Enrollment will be capped at 70 students, who will receive behavioral therapy; a reduced-calorie nutrition plan of between 1,000 and 1,200 calories daily; and access to a variety of physical activities, including golfing, canoeing and mountain biking (Hellmich, USA Today, 6/30).
Executive Director Ryan Craig said the school is equipped to handle health care issues related to obesity, including hypertension, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems. In addition to the weight-loss program, students will take traditional academic courses, including mathematics, social studies, science, history, English and psychology. According to the Times, monthly tuition for the school is $4,000 to $5,000, a portion of which may be offset by health insurance coverage in some cases. Craig said that he expects enrollment to increase before the semester begins but added that the cost of tuition could prevent some children, particularly those from low-income families, from attending. Student loans are available for the program, but scholarships are not offered. Elliot Sainer, CEO of the Aspen Education Group, which runs Academy of the Sierras and about 15 other specialized boarding schools in the United States, said the program could be expanded to accommodate 150 students depending on results this year (Washington Times, 6/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.