Results from MindStream Academy’s 10th graduating class are in, and the numbers are impressive. Recent graduates from the South Carolina boarding school lost an average of 45.69 lbs. per student, with some students losing over 100 lbs. The outcomes from the most recent semester remain consistent with data from previous years, and it’s clear that when it comes to teens and health, this unique program yields extraordinary results as well as some unexpected ones. After several years of compiling data, preliminary research confirms what MindStream staff has long suspected: the benefits of weight loss go far beyond just the physical.
Since the first semester, (with very few exceptions) every MindStream student improved their grade point average by a minimum of one full grade point. MindStream’s Academy’s founder, Ray Travaglione is energized by the most recent data, which remains consistent with previous semesters. “This indicates that there is a strong positive correlation between improved physical fitness and increased academic achievement,” says Travaglione. What’s even more impressive is that preliminary evidence suggests that students maintain their improved GPA’s long after completion of the program. It is now clear that this type of intervention for overweight teenagers results in much more than just weight loss in just a few months, students experience a whole-person transformation. In addition to weight loss and improved physical health, students graduate from MindStream Academy with higher self-esteem, lower levels of stress and depression, and dramatically improved grades.
What sets this school apart from conventional weight loss programs is their approach to “whole-person wellness.” Students take classes in nutrition, fitness, gardening, and culinary skills, as well as taking traditional academic classes. They also participate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Equine-Assisted therapy and the effects of this type of immersive, experiential learning are life changing. Because the school focuses on teaching life skills like long-term planning, time-management, empowerment, goal-setting, and self-monitoring, increased academic success is a powerful by-product of the curriculum. Although further research is needed, anecdotal evidence from graduates from 2010 2013 indicates that these improvements are long-lasting. Students who were previously struggling academically are now entering college. They have maintained their weight loss, but they have also maintained their higher GPA’s.
A recent peer-reviewed study of MindStream’s program by Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center demonstrates the effectiveness of the program, but the study primarily focuses on indicators like weight loss and BMI. It is now becoming evident that MindStream’s positive impact goes far beyond these numbers. MindStream’s founder and CEO, Ray Travaglione is energized by the data. Says Travaglione,“The time is right for an in-depth, independent clinical study. This is the only program of its kind in the world, and while there is plenty of awareness about childhood obesity and prevention, it’s time to focus on solutions for the children who are in crisis right now.” Travaglione is especially interested in long-term comparisons between success rates of bariatric surgery and innovative therapeutic programs like MindStream’s. Travaglione says,“This program is saving lives, and this campus is the perfect laboratory for conducting research on childhood obesity and effective interventions.” With over a third of our nation’s youth currently suffering from obesity and its side effects, reaching these children with effective solutions is critical and based on MindStream’s data, the benefits of helping these children extend far beyond their reduced BMI’s.
MindStream Academy (mindstreamacademy.com), founded in 2010, is an innovative boarding school in Hilton Head, South Carolina for teens who struggle with obesity and its’ related emotional, social, and physical complications. For more information, visit MindStream Academy online, or call.