Freshmen at Florida’s Lakewood High School will be participating in a novel study on fighting teenage obesity with modern technology.
Researchers affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine, whose network includes a Florida children’s hospital near the school, plan to select about 50 overweight students and track their activity levels and sleep using Fitbit’s wearable devices. Students will sync their wristbands to MyFitnessPal to also include information on their daily diet.
When a youngster’s activity level drops, researchers will be able to send a text message or tweet with real-time tips on a healthy excursion or snack.
Students will sync their wristbands to MyFitnessPal to also include information on their daily diet.The philanthropic arm of insurer Florida Blue provided a $100,000 grant to fund the program, which focus is not on weight loss, but teaching healthy habits at a critical age. Obese adolescents are much more likely to become obese adults, and run the health risks of developing diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
As part of the program, students will meet with nutrition counselors and fitness experts twice a week, and attend after-school sessions with a psychologist focused on behavioral change.