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MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


Employee Wellness

By Joshua Brown, Ph.D., and Tonya Turner
Weight Management and Dietetic Services

The MUSC Weight Management Center has been providing effective, evidence-based weight management programs for more than 35 years. The multidisciplinary staff of weight management professionals includes registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, psychologists, physicians and nursing staff. The center offers a full range of lifestyle change programs—either individual- or group-based—for patients of all weight-loss needs; whether they have a little or a lot to lose. Regardless of the program, strong emphasis is placed on helping people make the lifestyle changes that are so important for long-term success. Consider these changes as the ABCD’S of lifestyle change:
Activity changes
Exercise is crucial to the long-term success of a weight loss program. No single exercise program is right for everyone, so it is important to create and work towards an exercise program that is effective and reasonable for each individual.
Behavioral changes
Habits and behaviors are important components of lifestyle and, therefore, weight. Many behaviors are automatic, occurring without thought. Monitoring behaviors is one of the most important tools for helping change lifestyle and manage weight. Regularly graphing weight and keeping eating diaries are important new habits to develop.
Cognitive (thinking) changes
Thought patterns are as important as behavior patterns. Associations to food and thoughts about dieting affect the ability to successfully monitor and manage weight. It is important to become more aware of and change thought patterns that lead to overeating or the sabotaging of progress.
Dietary changes
Successful long-term weight loss and overall health depend on a healthy diet. A registered dietitian can help form an eating plan that fits with each person’s lifestyle.
Support systems
The process of losing weight and growing accustomed to new ways of dealing with food can be difficult. Friends, family and co-workers can be great sources of support; they can also be harmful when it comes to attempts to make lifestyle changes. It is important to learn how to recognize support systems as well as those that may contribute to poor eating habits.

One program designed specifically for MUSC employees and offered in partnership with MUSC Employee Wellness is Lunchtime Losers. A team of dietitians, psychologists, and exercise physiologists emphasize lifestyle changes that can actually be sustained long after completing the program. Program features:
  • 10-week program
  • 1-hour weekly meetings from noon – 1 p.m.
  • Emphasis on healthy eating, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits q  $98 for the entire program (payroll deduction available)
Located at the MUSC Weight Management Center in the Institute of Psychiatry The next Lunchtime Losers class begins Jan. 13, to register e-mail

For information on the program e-mail or or visit

Experts from the Weight Management Center will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Wellness Wednesday booth outside ART cafeteria. BMI and body composition measurements will be available as well as information about programs and free consultation scheduling.
MUSC Employee Wellness events
  • Chair massages: Free massages are offered to employees on Tuesday nights and midday Wednesdays. Look for broadcast messages for locations and times.
  • Farmers market December schedule: Dec. 17, Dec. 22, and Dec. 29.
  • Discounted state park annual passes: Ranger John Phelps from Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site will be located near Starbucks from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 22 and Dec. 29 in the university hospital selling annual state park passes to employees at a 20 percent discount. Visit or to learn more about the natural and historic settings in the community and state.
  • Join MUSC Employee Wellness, Sodexo Nutrition Services and Charleston Trident Dietetic Association for their "Food Swap" donation event at noon on Friday, Dec. 17 at the Horseshoe. In exchange for non-perishable food items to benefit the Lowcountry Food Bank, registered dietitians will be providing healthy holiday eating tips and samples of their own healthy holiday treats with recipes to help make healthy holiday cooking and eating easy and delicious.
Contact Susan Johnson at to become involved in employee wellness at MUSC.

Friday, Dec. 17, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.