Skip to Content (Press Enter)

About The Program

TEENS is a 4-month, family-based lifestyle intervention for teens ages 12 to 16 years who are overweight. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and offered by Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. TEENS includes weekly, interactive group classes for teens and parents that cover topics including healthy eating, physical activity, and goal-setting. While participating in the program, teens have access to the program's dedicated gym facilities where they will work with personal trainers to improve their physical fitness.


Hear what a past TEENS family has to say about this program in an interview with Focus Richmond!



  1. 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 calculator)
    • Have no medical conditions that directly lead to weight gain or loss
    • Have a primary care physician
  2. Teens must also have a motivated parent/guardian with a BMI ≥ 25 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
  3. 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
  4. Families must live within a 30-mile radius of the program
    2303 N Parham Rd #1
    Henrico, VA 23229
    View on Google Maps

BMI Calculator


Date of Measurement




Boy Girl


Date of Measurement




Boy Girl

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: What will we do in the program?

    • 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 medical providers.
  2. Q: How long is the program?

    • The program is 4 months long, with a follow-up visit 4 months and 8 months after program completion to follow up with how your family is doing.
  3. 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 $25 for completing the assessment visit at 2 months, $50 for completing the assessment at the end of the 4 month program, $75 for returning for the assessment visit at 8 months, and $100 for returning for the assessment at 12 months.
  1. Q: How much does it cost to participate?

    • TEENS is funded by the National Institutes of Health and offered at no cost to participants! 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 activities.
  2. 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.
  3. Q: I’m not sure this study is a good fit for my family. Are there other options to help with weight management for my teen?

    • Yes! Our Healthy Lifestyles Clinic offers individual and group weight management options for teens and their families. Check out the link for more information.
  4. Q: How do I sign up?

Ready to sign up?

Complete this brief online eligibility screening to see if you're eligible OR contact our staff by

Here are additional resources that may be a good fit for your family: