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The Catalyst

Weight Management Center offers online competition

By Ashley Barker
Public Relations

The MUSC Weight Management Center in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences now offers two different types of competitive Lunchtime Losers courses.

Amanda Griffith, an exercise physiologist at the MUSC Weight Management Center, teaches a Lunchtime Losers class with Dr. Josh Brown, a licensed psychologist and director of Clinical Services and Training.
Amanda Griffith, an exercise physiologist at the MUSC Weight Management Center, teaches a Lunchtime Losers class with Dr. Josh Brown, a licensed psychologist and director of Clinical Services and Training.

Participants may choose a combination of in-person and virtual courses or a completely online in real-time version. Both courses last 10 weeks and meet for one hour per week. They include a program manual, tailored dietary instruction, help in developing appropriate exercise goals and behavioral information on how to facilitate long-term healthy behavior changes. Participants also receive access to a comprehensive set of online and app-based weight loss tools, which the staff can monitor.

Courses are led by registered dietitians, licensed psychologists and exercise physiologists. Josh Brown, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and director of Clinical Services and Training, works with Tonya Turner, a registered dietitian, to emphasize healthy eating and exercise to the center’s clients who pay $98 for the program, which is available as payroll deduction.

The virtual class is available through Adobe Connect, but participants do not need any special equipment or software. The leaders email a link to participants to open at the appropriate class time. All participants need is an internet-connected device such as a computer, smartphone or tablet.

The courses are all recorded and available anytime for the participants to review.

“If they can’t get on during that particular time, it’s all recorded. If you have a meeting from 12 until 1 that day and you couldn’t tune in, we’ll send the link out afterwards so even if you missed it you can go back and catch up,” Turner said. “The virtual participants weigh themselves on their own, and they email us their weights. Obviously there is some trust there, but they have to do it on a weekly basis.”

Anyone who is looking to lose weight and learn to live healthier is invited to sign up.

“We built it with MUSC employees in mind, but it doesn’t exclude non-employees,” Brown said. “In every Lunchtime Losers, we’ll usually have one or two who aren’t employees.”

Tonya Turner, a registered dietitian, answers questions via chat during the same Lunchtime Losers class. The course lasts 10 weeks and the group meets once per week in a real-time virtual classroom.
Tonya Turner, a registered dietitian, answers questions via chat during the same Lunchtime Losers class. The course lasts 10 weeks and the group meets once per week in a real-time virtual classroom.

The majority of participants in the online only option are within a few blocks of the in-person class, which is held in the library.

“We asked the participants where they worked. We were expecting that there were going to be quite a few who worked off campus,” Brown said. “The majority were on campus somewhere. That’s good to find out. It’s inconvenient to have to come over to us even for people who are close. We had some in Harborview, some in Rutledge Tower and all over MUSC.”

In addition to Lunchtime Losers, the MUSC Weight Management Center now offers one-on-one services in real-time via the internet.

“We really see this is a great way to extend our reach and our ability to deliver evidence-based weight loss treatments to folks anywhere in the state,” Brown said.

For more information or to register for the next class, visit http://www.muschealth.com/weight/services/LunchtimeLosers/index.htm or email Brown at browjosh@musc.edu.

August 29, 2013
 
 
 

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