About Healthy Me

In the last three decades childhood obesity has increased markedly1-4 with serious health consequences ranging from cardiovascular disease5 to endocrine system6 and mental health problems.7 Studies have highlighted that the rates of obesity are rising faster in rural communities.8 The Healthy Me Project is a response to the growing epidemic and it specifically aims to address obesity and overweight among adolescents in rural parts of the state of Florida.

Healthy Me is directed by a team of Primary Care Psychologists and Physicians from the Florida State University College of Medicine Immokalee Health Education Site in Immokalee, Florida. The project is supported by the Florida Department of Health through two legislative appropriations designated both in 2013 and 2014.

Healthy Me provides a set of behavioral interventions, or tools, that can be used to engage adolescents in positive health behaviors specifically aimed at addressing or preventing obesity. These are practical tools to help incorporate behavior change concepts into healthcare settings, such as office practice, or in other settings where adolescent health is addressed (i.e., school health settings, etc.). The tools/interventions are based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change,9 which construes change as a process that unfolds over time and involves progress through a series of stages. Healthy Me provides several interventions that can be implemented at each stage according to the adolescent’s level of readiness for change, including

  •  Identifying the Benefits of Healthy Strategies
  • Understanding the Link Between Behavior & Weight
  •  Identifying Defense Mechanisms
  •  Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Behavior Change
  • Goal Setting, Rewards & Contracting


  1. Caprio S, Daniels SR, Drewnowski A, Kaufman FR, Palinkas LA, Rosenbloom AL, et al. Influence of race, ethnicity, and culture on childhood obesity: Implications for prevention and treatment. Diabetes Care 2008; 31(11): 2211-21.
  2. Institute of Medicine Committee on prevention of obesity in children and youth. In Koplan JP, Liverman CT, Kraak VI, editors. Preventing childhood obesity: Health in the balance. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2005.
  3. Kuczmarski RJ, Ogden CL, Grummer-Strawn LM, Flegal KM, Guo SS, & Wei R. CDC growth charts 2000; United States. Adv Data, 1-27.
  4. Ogden CL, Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Johnson CL. Prevalence and trends in overweight among US children and adolescents, 1999-2000. JAMA 2002; 288, 1728-1732.
  5. Gidding SS, Bao W, Srinivasan SR, Berenson WG. Effects of secular trends in obesity on coronary risk factors in children: The bogalusa heart study. J Pediatr 1995; 127, 868-874.
  6. Shinha R, Fisch G, Teague B, et al. Prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance among children and adolescents with marked obesity. N Engl J Med 2002; 346, 802-810.
  7. Davison KK, Birch LL. Weight status, parent reaction, and self-concept in five-year-old girls. Pediatrics 2001; 107, 46-53.
  8. Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth. Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2005.
  9. Prochaska J.O., Johnson S., & Lee P. (2009) The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, The Handbook of Health Behavior Change (pp 59 -83). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.