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Kirschenbaum, Ph D, clinical director of Wellspring, an organization that runs weight loss camps, retreats, and schools for overweight kids and adults in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, including an annual family camp in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
"The kids are complaining about getting grilled chicken for dinner instead of bacon cheeseburgers," says Zucker.Priscilla Marquard was resolute: Her family was going to eat healthier than she did as a kid. Being Southern, I ate fried food," she recalls in the soft drawl that betrays her Georgia upbringing. And Priscilla did it all while trying to accommodate the tastes of each child, including the one who turned up her nose at leafy greens and refused to eat any dish that even resembled a stew. She even planned menus 30 days in advance to make sure her husband and four children (three of them triplet girls) were consuming a variety of nutritious foods.But by the time the triplets turned 10, it was obvious that the Marquards, who live in Orlando, had weight issues.One of the girls, Alexandra—the picky eater—was slender."We were like, ' Mom, what are you doing to us? The girls were initially resistant to the new foods, but they adjusted quickly.
This was a revelation to Priscilla: Despite her attempts to feed the family healthy fare, she slipped at times—meeting the triplets after school bearing bags of potato chips or Happy Meals, for example.(Her ex-husband and Philipp were traveling in Europe at the time.) Run like a summer camp for kids and their parents, the Pritikin Family Program includes tennis, swimming, and other activities, along with nutrition and culinary classes that emphasize the health benefits of a nutrient-rich, high-fiber, low-sodium, very-low-fat approach.(The diet consists of fewer than 20 percent calories from fat; the typical American diet is about 35 percent.) The first meal the Marquards ate in the Pritikin dining room was a shock to their palates—vegetarian meatloaf, "French fries" that were actually baked sliced sweet potatoes, and no salt shakers on the tables.Priscilla Marquard had read about a "family immersion" camp at Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Aventura, Florida, where she'd visited for weight tune-ups during her modeling days and had also brought her mother—who has type 2 diabetes.Priscilla decided that she and the triplets would give the two-week family program a try.And the triplets had frank discussions about what they needed to lose and the habits they would have to change.