Supporting Food and Exercise Counseling for Overweight Children

We will finalize and evaluate a technical solution to extend the services provided at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) Children’s Fitness Clinic (CFC) via an interactive website that includes health education, health progress and the capability to receive daily text messages from their patients.  The motivation for this automation is three-fold.  We hypothesize that such a system will 1) increase the patients’ interest and drive to consistently and more accurately report their daily food intake, mood and activity, 2) increase the amount of information exchange between the patients and their counselors between CFC visits, 3) shift clinician time during CFC sessions from “data gathering” activities to “counseling” activities, 4) be a feasible and useful alternative to paper logs for at least 25% of patients in the target age group, and 5) lead to longer patient retention in the CFC program.

Associated Cross-University Faculty
Stephanie Guerlain, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Systems and Information Engineering
Martha Hellems, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics