Big Kids, Discovery Channel Health's New Show, Documents 11-Year-Old's Weight Loss Journey At Camp Shane On September 16th Episode

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For 11-year-old Camp Shane camper Jesse Kaluber, the weight loss journey began by facing his fears.

"In the battle against childhood obesity...parents, families, and schools must all join the fight."

On the new Discovery Channel Health program, Big Kids, Camp Shane camper, Jesse Kaluber, was followed by a film crew as he faced the first steps on his weight loss journey. Camp Shane, the longest-running weight loss camp in the country (42 years), offers child and teen campers who have weight problems, the opportunity to visit the scenic camp in the Catskills, where campers learn about nutrition, fitness, and ways to not only lose weight, but keep it off.

Jess, who is 11-years-old, made the decision to attend Camp Shane himself, according to his mother Heidi Kaluber, though it was his first trip away from his Florida home alone. "He was homesick and that accounted for his emotional reaction that we see in the show," Ms. Kaluber says. Being followed by cameras everywhere added to the upset, shown in a video clip on the Discovery Health website where Jesse has a meltdown as he climbs a tall pole to hook onto a zip-line in the tree canopy of a nearby forest. (Spoiler alert: He not only makes it to the top; he ascended and descended twice.)

"Jesse convinced the counselors that I would come and get him," says Ms. Kaluber, which, she says, certainly wasn't true. "Jesse had to stick it out and know, that if he put his mind to it, he could succeed."

Heidi Kaluber believes strongly in the mission of Camp Shane and its battle against childhood obesity, expressing her firm opinion that parents, families, and schools must all join the fight. "Childhood obesity is everyone's concern. Look what we are teaching our kids: Because of our busy work schedules, we leave too many food choice decisions up to children who have no nutritional information; we as families eat way too much processed fast food; and our schools are even cutting back on physical education classes. We are sentencing our children to a lifetime of health risks--from diabetes and allergies to asthma and heart disease."

She (and when a bit more time had passed, even Jesse) found the experience at Camp Shane life-changing and positive. "Jesse's self-esteem rose, he learned about making better choices about food and exercise, he made new friends, and during his three weeks at Camp Shane, he lost 17 pounds," his mother says.

"There is a new maturity about Jesse," she continues, "and he has even lost three more pounds since he got home. I would send him to Camp Shane again in a heartbeat."

Information about Camp Shane, the longest-running weight loss camp for children and teens, can be found at or by calling (914) 271-4141.

The episode profiling Jesse Kaluber on Big Kids,, Discovery Health Channels new program on the causes, impacts, and methods for tackling America's childhood obesity epidemic, airs Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 9 pm.


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