Fat Camp refers to a weight loss camp while Fat Farm refers to weight loss resort. The difference between a fat camp and a fat farm is simple: the first is for children and adolescents, the second for adults. Both offer accommodation, trained health and fitness professionals on staff (usually including a health clinic or at least an on-site nurse), fresh and delicious supervised meals and plenty of supervised exercise.
Most weight loss camps for kids and teens include supervised aerobic activities, nutrition classes and regular weigh-ins, and report an average weekly weight loss ranging from two to six pounds. One of those most popular weight loss camps is Camp Shane, and it focuses on developing improved physical skills that campers can take home into their normal lives. Another such camp, Camp Empire Lake, eschews the idea of weighing altogether, equating them with defeatist attitudes like guilt and shame that prevent being happy in the body that campers currently live in.
Adult weight loss resorts add to this mix of elements more advanced and esoteric weight loss methods, such as acupuncture, yoga and meditation. Many also employ health professionals, life coaches, nutritionists, and physiotherapists available to participants. Some resorts even run hands-on kitchen workshops, teaching attendees how to cook healthier, more balanced meals for themselves.
What all of these short-term homes for the young and old really offer, however, far more than a little bit of a person’s day-to-day structure and supervision, is the environment of support and encouragement of a group of people all dedicated to the same goal of losing weight. In a world where overweight people are surrounded by outside judgment, these resorts and weight loss camps provide a non-judgmental atmosphere, where a person is valued for who they are and inspired to be all the desire to be.
Taking a break from everyday society to be around other people with their own weight issues is one of the safest ways thinkable to deal with your own weight issues.
MTV shed light on this phenomenon with its acclaimed feature documentary Fat Camp: An MTV Docs Movie Presentation. The film follows five teenagers as they attend Camp Pocono Trails in Poconos, Pennsylvania. The show received such attention and success that it airs its second season (after five new teams and their experiences in the same camp) from November 2007. As any gripping drama should, the MTV Fat Camp documentary highlights the thrills of victory and the agonies of defeat. But the real fat camps and fat farms are not about victory or defeat. Their words of support and encouragement. About loving who you are so much that it’s finally starting to show in your appearance.