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Team approach focuses on healthy lifestyles 

Are you concerned about your teen’s fitness and weight? Our multidisciplinary team can help. TEENS STRIVE works with children with obesity through personal exercise training, nutrition education and coaching to help them adopt healthy behaviors. 


This three-month lifestyle intervention is designed for teens ages 12 to 16 years with obesity. The program includes weekly individual behavioral weight management visits for teens that cover topics including healthy eating and goal setting. An exercise training component brings teens to our dedicated gym facilities, where they work three times a week with personal trainers to improve fitness. 


1. To be eligible to participate in TEENS STRIVE, your teen must: 

  • Be between 12 and 16 years old 
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile (calculate your teen's BMI percentile using the calculator) 
  • Have no medical conditions that directly lead to weight loss or weight gain 
  • Not be on medications that affect blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol 
  • Have a primary care physician 
  • Be able to safely perform standard exercise activities 
  • Be comfortable participating in one-on-one sessions with a coach and be able to understand and follow basic instructions during program sessions 
  • Females must not be pregnant

2. Teens must have a motivated parent or guardian who is willing to attend weekly visits. 

3. Families must live within a 30-mile radius of the program. 


What will we do in the program? 

  • Teens will exercise at the program gym with personal trainers three days a week. Teens will be randomly assigned to one of two specific types of exercise training at their first gym visit. 
  • Teens will complete assessments including questionnaires, nutrition assessments, body measurements, lab work and fitness testing at certain time points of the program to monitor their progress. 
  • Teens will participate in weekly individual sessions with a behavior coach or dietitian; parents will join their teen and coach for a portion of the weekly visits to learn about supporting their teen's efforts. 
  • Teens will keep a daily log of their food and exercise during the program. 
  • Parents will have also their height and weight measured, complete questionnaires and wear an activity monitor for seven days at the beginning and end of the program. 
  • Most STRIVE activities occur in the afternoon or evening, with the exception of three medical visits that occur in the morning. 

How long is the program? 

The program runs for three months, with a follow-up visit at one month to see how your teen is doing. 

What will I receive for participating? 

You and your teen will receive valuable education and practical ideas about how to improve your teen's health. Your family will also receive $40 for completing the assessment visit at three months, and $50 for returning for the assessment visit at four months. 

How much does it cost to participate? 

STRIVE is a free program! All the information, training and testing that you and your teen receive will be provided at no cost to you. Participants are expected to provide their own transportation to and from program activities. 

Will my teen have to take any medications or pills in this program? 

No. STRIVE is a lifestyle treatment program, meaning your teen will make changes to their eating and physical activity to improve their fitness and overall health - medications are not used in this study. 

How do we sign up? 

Complete the STRIVE screener to see if you're eligible or contact our Program Coordinator at 804-527-4756 or 

Location and contact 

Healthy Lifestyles Center 

Melanie Bean
Melanie Bean PhD, LCP Endocrinology and metabolism, Weight management, Adolescent bariatric surgery Read more
Edmond Wickham
Edmond Wickham MD, FAAP Endocrinology and metabolism, Weight management, Adolescent bariatric surgery Read more
Mary Conkright
Mary Conkright MSN, CPNP Endocrinology and metabolism, Weight management Read more
Sarah Farthing
Sarah Farthing Weight management Read more
Rachel Gow
Rachel Gow PhD, LCP Endocrinology and metabolism, Weight management Read more
Sonya Islam
Sonya Islam MPH, RD Weight management Read more

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