The Tops Club, Inc. is a charitable organization based in Milwaukee, WI and has chapters in locations world-wide, most of which are in the US and Canada. Its purpose is to sponsor research and support groups in the area of human body weight control. The program is referred to as TOPS, which stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly
The organization was formed in 1948 in order to assist overweight individuals by setting up a support group. Over the years as more people joined and more problems with weight issues surfaced, there were more and more people who used the TOPS weight loss program. Such things as anorexia and bulimia also became widely known, and even though those issues are the wrong kind of weight loss, they still felt obligated to make people aware that such problems existed, and the scope of TOPS was expanded to encompass the need for all weight issues to be confronted. A program was also created called KOPS, which stands for Keeps Off Pounds Sensibly.
TOPS doesnt endorse any particularly weight loss plan and they do welcome anyone into the program even if they are active in other plans, as TOPS emphasizes exercise, nutrition, motivation and wellness issues. All of this is to supplement and support members to keep going in the direction that they are moving if they are seeing positive results. So the TOPS weight loss plan was a support feature, and a very successful one at that. It seems that when people with the same issues can band together, they gain strength from one another and that gives them the incentive and motivation to continue.
The members meet on a weekly basis for a weigh in to be recorded, and then for the main session. The weigh in is conducted in a private room, and two members who are there in the room with the member to record the results on a calibrated balance scale. New members are required to see their doctor and consult with him or her to come up with a weight loss plan that is individualized for their own personal situation.
During the main session, reports are given for the total weight gain or loss of the group which serves as an incentive for the whole group to do well, or work harder, as the case may be. There are prizes given for the most weight lost for that week among all of the members. They may only amount to a few dollars, which is funded from the weekly dues.
The TOPS Club, Inc. has been a major player in the clinical studies of weight loss, obesity, and metabolic research since 1966, and has donated over million to the Medical College of Wisconsin. The Metabolic Research center at that university was started in 1994. The work that has been accomplished at the center has contributed greatly to the overall research and studies in the obesity and overweight arena. The TOPS weight loss program is still going strong and will continue to do so, as long as there are caring people who want to help.