Medical Tourism Provider Addresses Childhood Obesity through Cultural Immersion, Education

Market Watch | 2009-02-26

China Connection Global Healthcare (CCGH), a pioneering leader in destination healthcare, announced the Fitness and Culture Experience for Teens, an obesity-intervention plan designed to address the social, environmental and individual determinants of the disease. The eight week summer program, in coordination with China's Aimin Hospital, will offer 40 US high school students and 10 of their Chinese peers an international wellness experience integrating diet, exercise and traditional Chinese medicine to achieve significant weight-loss. In addition, participants will experience the culture of one of the world's oldest societies and fastest growing economies. The camp will be held in Tianjin, China, June 10 through August 10, 2009.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in six American children is overweight or obese, a rate that has tripled during the last 20 years. Children and adolescents are developing obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, that were once only seen in adults. A new study by the World Cancer Research Fund reports that 34 percent of all cancer cases in America could be prevented simply by people eating better, exercising more and maintaining healthier weights. CCGH is the only destination healthcare company focused on addressing obesity in teens.

"We are passionate about the Fitness and Culture Experience being a catalyst in changing the lives of these young people," said Ruth Lycke, CEO, CCGH. "This group will reshape their bodies and expand their awareness of the world and its people in a unique way. We are thrilled to be promoting healthy self-acceptance and self-esteem through a program in which they're assured success."

The Fitness and Culture Experience is part of the company's Winners in Life initiative through which 2008 participant Alonzo Bland lost over 300 pounds, without the use of bariatric surgery during his nine month stay in China. Teen participants in the program can expect to lose 20 - 25 pounds per month under strict, medical supervision.

CCGH is growing the program through a grassroots approach to local sponsorships and is hiring from the ranks of the highly skilled, unemployed in each city. Thirty field representatives in 30 cities across the country will assist CCGH in selecting participants and sponsors from the communities in which they live. The goal is to reach kids who need help the most and ensure no deserving teen is left behind as a result of his or her family's financial situation.

"The Fitness and Culture Experience encourages implementation of small, gradual and targeted changes that will have a lasting impact. We are empowering this group with the tools and resources necessary to make permanent changes that will lead to long and healthy lives," said Lycke.



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