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“It is to all of our best interest for these kids to be able to realize their best potential,” Stone said.

Independence already had taken aggressive steps to battle childhood obesity, measuring students’ body-mass index and posting the information on a protected website parents use to check grades and lunch account balances. The data was alarming: 36 percent of the students were overweight last year.

The district took steps to address the problem, including offering groups for students focused on healthy eating. But district spokeswoman Nancy Lewis said some students need a more intensive intervention.

“I do think there is something about them being removed from their environment that makes this a success,” said Lewis, adding that the school system hopes to send a second group of students to MindStream next fall. “It just kick starts the process.”

Chrystal Loyd, 15, said she felt “more energized” after losing more than 60 pounds and planned to focus now on her mother. Misty Loyd, 35, already had shed 15 pounds and run a 3-kilometer race, a first for her.

“We are going to start working out together,” Misty Loyd said. “We are going to use their cookbook and start cooking healthier.”