Weight loss camp for young adults

(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.

Meanwhile, Priscilla, now 42, had her own troubles: After having kids, the former Ford model found that she was carrying an extra ten to 20 pounds that seemed impervious to diets.

While each of us has a special relationship with the scale, in many cases the family factor weighs in (literally).

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.

And children can undermine parents' efforts to eat well.

But if the parents stuck to their old habits, everyone was more likely to start adding pounds.

This kind of research helps explain why Wellspring and other weight loss companies, including Weight Watchers, are developing and launching family-targeted programs.

"It can really wear you down." On occasion, spouses can also interfere with their partners' efforts to shed pounds.

"You might have a wife who wants to lose weight, but her husband doesn't, so he won't change the food he buys," says Zucker.

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