La Salle supports residents with health program

Dr. Edie Goldbacher is a clinical health psychologist at La Salle University. As a professor, she teaches mainly doctoral students about the psychological effects of weight issues. She serves as a resource for members of both the La Salle and local community when it comes to weight loss and healthy eating. She focuses with her weight loss program participants on the importance of nutrition and lifestyle choices.

Dr. Edie Goldbacher. Photo from La Salle University
Dr. Edie Goldbacher. Photo from La Salle University

The American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a medical condition. Between 1990 and 2010, some regions in the United States went from little to no data on BMI (Body Mass Index) to 30 percent of the population over a BMI of 30. The BMI is the weight-height ratio of an individual and is used to calculate if someone is overweight or not.

While there are a variety of reasons of obesity, a special look is being taken at childhood obesity. Some of the reasons for childhood obesity include poor food choices and lack of physical activity. These reasons are common in impoverished neighborhoods. These neighborhoods tend to have more community violence causing residents, especially children, to stay inside for their own safety.

Goldbacher’s programs focus on “helping people learn new behaviors”. Goldbacher said when working with participants, the overall goal may be to lose 40 pounds. We break it down into smaller more achievable goals. When it comes to the relapse prevention stage of the program, Goldbacher asks her participants “You’ve lost some weight, you’ve changed your eating behaviors, and now how do we maintain that.”

Some of the psychological factors are the reasons for the weight problem. Goldbacher helps to identify the thinking patterns to help the participant. Participants track how much food is eaten and the exercise.

The program runs 12-20 weeks and the cost varies based on the participant’s income. The program has a basic structure but is customized to each participant’s abilities and desires. The program is run through La Salle University.

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