MUSC launches program to help lower-income Charleston residents with weight challenges

MUSC offers program to train health care graduate students.

The Medical University of South Carolina's (MUSC) Weight Management Center launched a training program in July to better educate medical and other health care graduate students on how to deliver an evidence-based obesity intervention.

Following the completion of the program, the graduate students are offering a free, 10-week lifestyle change/weight loss program, called L.E.A.N. for Life, to lower-income Charleston residents, that began on Sept. 6. 

The goal of the MUSC Weight Management Center is to address the health problems and high costs associated with the rising rate of obesity, with the understanding that without better insurance coverage, individuals who perhaps need obesity treatment the most are the ones who are least likely to be able to afford it.

Health care providers often are not adequately trained to effectively treat obesity in their patients. This program has dual missions

  • Filling a national gap by experientially teaching future health care providers how to effectively treat one of the most prominent medical diseases they will face (i.e., obesity)
  • Delivering free community- and evidence-based obesity intervention to lower-income Charleston residents.

The program will help participants lose weight and get healthier by teaching them to make healthy changes with regard to their diets, activity levels and other lifestyle behaviors. Participants will be assisted in developing healthier diets that take into consideration cultural concerns; devising personalized activity plans that are effective and convenient; and making other sustainable lifestyle changes.

“We aim to have participants complete the program with increased confidence in their abilities to be active, eat healthier and take control of their health,” said Josh Brown, Ph.D., director of Clinical Services and raining at the Weight Management Center