Teens Set a New PACE

by Joy Keller on Nov 01, 2007

Making News

An investigational weight loss study is using cell phone–based prompts and the Internet to help 12- to 16-year-olds avoid type 2 diabetes. The program, called PACE (Patient-centered Assessment and Counseling for Exercise and Nutrition), uses a fun “stoplight” system to motivate the teens.

Participants receive nutrition and activity-level choices with green-, yellow- or red-light selections. For example, biking and rollerblading are “green-light activities” that add the most steps to a teen’s day, thus burning more calories. Yellow- and red-light foods and activities have fewer benefits. Subjects also receive special challenges from health coaches via e-mail, asking them to set and reach certain goals.

One critical aspect of this program is that it actively involves at least one parent. “I think it’s clear that the adolescents who are going to be most successful are the ones who have support from the people they are living with,” said PACE project co-investigator Michael Gottschalk, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, in a press release. “This is an environmental change, and a lot of times, it’s the environment itself that is creating part of the problem.” 

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.