With spring on the horizon and summer right around the corner, everyone is talking about one thing: getting in shape. According to The New York Times, the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds around the holiday season, and losing that weight can be tough in the spring and summer. Candy, especially Easter candy, fatty foods, and lack of exercise can all lead to rapid weight gain. Some may feel overwhelmed trying to lose weight, but there is help. Edie Goldbacher, a clinical health psychologist, supervises a clinic that helps individuals maintain healthy eating patterns through behavioral weight loss programs.
Goldbacher’s clinic aims to help members maintain healthy eating patterns and a healthy weight by behavioral weight loss treatments. The cost varies depending on income, usually $10-$25 per session, and the clinic aims to help the most in need. The programs run anywhere between 12-20 weeks, with weekly meetings about an hour long. The clinic aims to educate members on nutrition, promote physical activity, and identify and modify eating behaviors and unhelpful thinking patterns. Members are weighed weekly to track progress.
Obesity has drastically increased since 1990, partially due to environmental, social, behavioral, and psychological factors. Availability, cost, advertising, portion sizes, and environmental characteristics are all factors that influence obesity. Food deserts contribute to obesity because of the lack of fresh and healthy food. This limits the amount spent on food, causing individuals to choose cheap fast food options. Stress and lack of social support combined with mindless and unintentional eating, unhelpful eating patterns, sedentary behaviors, and emotion also influence obesity.
The program strives to address prevention through treatment while encouraging a healthy lifestyle. It is important for members to understand that it is a lifestyle and not a diet. Behavioral weight loss treatments address all factors, while acknowledging the role of biological and genetic factors. “Genetics load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger”, says Goldbacher.