FORT SILL, Okla.-- Obesity is a growing condition in the United States that affects millions of people, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful foods and physical inactivity," explained the CDC.

"A large portion of the nation's population is overweight," said Lt. Col. Chris Milstead. "Many people who are unhappy with their weight have struggled for years to lose, not knowing the correct way to get healthy. There is so much more to keeping weight off than just dieting. You have to have a healthy lifestyle."

A healthy lifestyle is what you will acquire by joining the weight loss program at Reynolds Army Community Hospital.

"We started our first weight loss beta test in July," said Milstead. "We aren't just trying to help people lose weight, we are trying to give them a healthy lifestyle."

In the class, participants will have their body mass index measured to determine how much weight they need to lose to no longer be considered overweight or obese.

The new weight loss program focuses on much more than just talking about exercise and eating right.

"This program has a multi-disciplinary focus," explained Milstead. "We have trainers, physical therapists, nutritionists and behavioral health professionals. Trainers are going to meet with patients individually and teach them what they need to do to lose weight. Every body is different and different activities work best for different people. This program is designed to work with people and get them to choose a healthier lifestyle. You need to be motivated: mind, body and soul.

"It takes time to lose weight. This program would work for any condition that needs a health change. Diabetes and high cholesterol patients would find the program very useful, too."

While a lot of people may find this class to be an answer to their weight loss prayers, it has a 40-percent dropout rate.

"The July class started with 11 people. Five are finishing it," said Milstead. "The next three-month iteration starts in October."

The class has room for 20 people and will kick off an iteration every three months and last for three months. Anyone wanting to participate must have their primary care manager refer them.

"For this second iteration we are taking pieces from different successful resources (to make everyone successful at losing weight)," said Milstead. "No one professional is no more important than the other. Behavioral health is just as vital as physical health."

Page last updated Thu September 30th, 2010 at 15:47