'Fat camp' tackles obesity of at-risk kids

WILSON, N.C. — Anthony Hood and Lindsey Kandel headed home from summer camp over the weekend with dirty clothes and phones full of new contacts. But Anthony and Lindsey are not your typical campers. Camp Shining Stars is not your typical camp.

Anthony, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Charlotte, arrived for his first day weighing 504 pounds. Camp Director Ira Green had to buy a special scale (up to 1,000 pounds) to accommodate his weight.

Lindsey, a rising junior, is a return visitor. She started at age 8, when she weighed more than 200 pounds.

Camp Shining Stars, held on the campus of Barton College in Wilson, is a weight-reduction camp for adolescents. The kids call it Fat Camp.

But this is no body-shaping spa for rich kids. This camp is a nonprofit aimed at reducing the nation's rocketing obesity rates, especially among those most likely to be affected — poor and minority children, children from troubled homes.

To read the complete article, visit