MUSC offers free weight-loss program

  • Thursday, September 4, 2014

In July, the MUSC Weight Management Center launched a training program to better educate medical and other health care graduate students in how to deliver an evidence-based obesity intervention. The culmination of this training program is for these health care students to provide a free 10-week lifestyle change program to lower-income Charleston residents.

The MUSC Weight Management Center understands the health problems and high costs associated with the rising rate of obesity and that without better insurance coverage, individuals who arguably need obesity treatment the most are the ones who are least likely to be able to afford it. They also know that health care providers are often not adequately trained to effectively treat obesity in their patients. This program has dual missions of filling a national gap by experientially teaching future health care providers how to effectively treat one of the most prominent medical diseases they will face, and delivering a free community- and evidence-based obesity intervention to lower-income Charleston residents.

The program will help participants lose weight and get healthier by teaching them to make healthy changes to their diets, activity and other lifestyle behaviors. Participants will be assisted in developing healthier diets that consider cultural concerns, helped to develop personalized activity plans that are effective and convenient, and supported in making other sustainable lifestyle changes.

The program will be offered at two locations and times: Saturday mornings in West Ashley, starting Sept. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to noon and Tuesday evenings downtown, starting Sept. 9 from 6-7:30 p.m.

The center is also able to provide transportation assistance (i.e., free CARTA bus passes) to those for whom transportation might be an impediment.

To be eligible, participants must be 18 years or older and have Medicaid or meet Medicaid's income requirement. For those who are unsure, the MUSC Weight Management Center can provide a short screening assessment.

Those interested in participating in the program should call 843-792-5431 and leave a message with their name and phone number. MUSC Weight Management Center staff will call prospective participants back to assess their eligibility and enroll them.

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