TEENS+ is a 4-month, family-based lifestyle intervention for teens ages 12 to 16
years who are overweight. The program is offered by Children's Hospital of Richmond
at VCU and includes weekly, interactive group classes for the teens that cover topics
including healthy eating, physical activity, and goal-setting. Parents participate
in their own weekly classes too. While participating in the program, teens have
access to program's dedicated gym facilities where they will work with personal
trainers to improve their physical fitness.
To be eligible to join TEENS+, your teen must:
Be between 12-16 years old
Have a body mass index (BMI) above the 85th percentile (calculate your teen's BMI percentile using the calucator)
Have no medical conditions that directly lead to weight gain or loss
Have a primary care physician
Teens must also have a motivated parent/guardian with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 that will
participate in the program with them (calculate your BMI using this calculator)
Parent must have medical clearance from their health care provider in order to
participate in the program
Both the teen and the parent must:
Be able to safely perform standard exercise activities
Be comfortable participating in group classes and able to understand and follow
basic instructions during program sessions
Females must not be pregnant
Families must live within a 30-mile radius of the program
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Teens will participate in a weekly group class about lifestyle change with either
girls or boys their age; parents will participate in a weekly group about family
lifestyle changes with other parents.
Teens will exercise at the program gym with personal trainers at least 1 day a week.
Parents and teens will complete assessments including body measurements and surveys
during the program to track their progress.
Teens will have laboratory blood work including screening for diabetes and high
cholesterol at the beginning and end of the program.
Most TEENS+ activities occur in the afternoon or evening, with the exception of
a brief medical visit with one of the programs doctors.
Q: How long is the program?
The program is 4-months long, with a follow-up visit 3 months after program completion
to see how your family is doing.
Q: What will I receive for participating?
You and your teen will receive valuable education and practical ideas about how
to improve your health. Your family will also receive $40 for completing the assessment
visit at 4 months, and $50 for returning for the assessment visit at 7 months.
Q: How much does it cost to participate?
TEENS+ is a free program! All the information, training, and testing that you and
your teen receive will be provided free of charge.
Participants will be expected to provide their own transportation to and from program
Q: Will I have to take any medications or pills in this program?
No. TEENS+ is a lifestyle treatment program, meaning your family will make changes
to your eating and physical activity to promote weight loss, improved fitness and
overall health - medications will not be used in this study.
Q: How do I sign up?
If you are interested in participating in this study, please complete the online eligibility screening. You can also
email or call us (804) 527-4756 with questions or for more information.
The information on this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only; it does not contain specific medical advice. If you have specific health questions or problems, consult a health care professional for personal medical advice.