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Can the Internet Motivate Teens to Lose Weight?

Narrator: This is Science Today. Can the Internet help motivate teens to lose weight? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine are leading a novel study to find out. It's called the Patient-centered Assessment and Counseling for Exercise and Nutrition, or PACE, project. Study leader Dr. Kevin Patrick says it's targeting adolescents at risk for diabetes.

Patrick: Our research is focusing on web technologies and providing materials on the web both to the child and the parents that reinforce on a weekly basis, the kinds of messages that the doctor's given them, the health educators given them, that community resources might give them is, we think, a promising approach to extend the reach and impact.

Narrator: San Diego County kids currently enrolled in the year-long, weekly web-based exercise are referred to the PACE project by their doctors.

Patrick: They become educated; basically a lesson plan about what particular foods may be good for them or bad foods for them. And then they'reencouraged to set a goal for the next week.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.