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A Novel Approach to Helping Teens Lose Weight

Narrator: This is Science Today. Nationally, over a hundred billion dollars a year are spent on the care of diabetes. Most cases are called Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset. But now doctors are seeing children developing this disease as a consequence of obesity.

Patrick: Primarily, a lot of it can be prevented if people lose weight nad they don't have to lose dramatic amounts of weight. If you lose seven to ten percent of your body weight that could make a very meaningful difference as far as the likelihood that you're going to develop diabetes in the next year or two.

Narrator: Dr. Kevin Patrick, a professor Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, is working on a project that targets teens to lose weight by using interactive, web-based and wireless technologies to get the message across.

Patrick: To get kids, it has to be fun; it has to be something that's very interesting to them and/or it has to be clearly bought into at that household. You can't just talk to somebody and say - gosh, you really ought to lose weight and here's what you should do and give them a one-page handout and come back in six months and we'll talk about it. That just doesn't work.

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