Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

YSN and Local High Schools Collaborate on Interactive Health-e-Teen Program

October 1, 2010

Health-e-teen program.Yale University School of Nursing is collaborating with local high schools to create an interactive internet program, called Health-e-Teen, to focus on how healthy eating and physical activity can prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Read similar story on Health-e-Teen in the Yale Daily News.

YSN Dean and Professor Margaret Grey, DrPH, RN, FAAN, and Associate Professor, Robin Whittemore, PhD, APRN, received nearly $1 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health for the research study "Reducing Obesity and Diabetes in High Risk Youth." The two-year study will compare the effectiveness of two interactive web-based educational programs aimed at reducing obesity among teens at risk for type 2 diabetes.

“This grant has allowed us to build on some previous work in the schools to reduce the risk of diabetes with a more traditional program,” Dean Grey commented. “In this study, the programs are innovative and reflect the needs of today’s youth, and we are working with each faculty to assure that the programs are a fit with school activities.”

“Health-e-Teen has great potential to engage teens in learning about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity,” Dr. Whittemore stated.

Career High School, West Haven High School, and New Haven Academy are all participating in the interactive program, and 10th grade students have been asked to join from each school. The program uses a reality television format, including a cast of teens who creatively present content and challenges of eating healthy and staying fit. There will be eight interactive healthy eating and physical activity lessons and four interactive lessons on coping skills for teenagers. As a part of each lesson, students will watch videos, hear commentary by the cast, and partake in self-assessment and non-graded quizzes.

The goal of the study, which has started recruiting and is set to start-up in the classrooms in early November, is to compare the educational program to similar teaching that includes a coping skills program. The two studies will be measured by the improvement in health outcomes such as Body Mass Index (BMI), nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behavior.