Health Online for Teens (HOT) program for Australian adolescents above a healthy weight: study protocol

Carly Jane Moores, Anthony Maeder, Jacqueline Miller, Ivanka Prichard, Lucy Kate Lewis, Lucinda Kate Bell, Aimee Macoustra, Michelle D Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Over one quarter of Australian adolescents are overweight or obese, with obesity in adolescents strongly persisting into adulthood. Recent evidence suggests that the mid-teen years present a final window of opportunity to prevent irreversible damage to the cardiovascular system. As lifestyle behaviours may change with increased autonomy during adolescence, this life-stage is an ideal time to intervene and promote healthy diet and activity behaviours, wellbeing and self-esteem. As teenagers are prolific users and innate adopters of online technologies, app-based programs may be suitable for the promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviours and goal setting training.

Objective: This study aims to explore the reach, engagement, user experience and satisfaction of the new app- and web-based Health Online for Teens (HOT) program in a sample of Australian adolescents above a healthy weight (i.e. overweight or obese)and their parents.

Methods: Health Online for Teens (HOT) is a 14-week program for adolescents and their parents. The program is delivered online via the Moodle app- and website-based online learning environment and aims to promote adolescent lifestyle behaviour change in line with Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Young People (13 – 17 years). HOT aims to build parental and peer support during the program to support adolescents with healthy lifestyle behaviour change. This project is currently delivering the intervention to participants and data collection is ongoing.

Results: Data collection for this study is ongoing. To-date, 35 adolescents and their parents have participated in one of three groups.

Conclusions: Health Online for Teens (HOT) is a new online-only program for Australian adolescents and their parents which aims to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors. This study protocol paper describes the HOT program in detail, along with the methods to measure reach, outcomes, engagement, user experiences, and program satisfaction.

Clinical Trial: This study was prospectively registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR, on 29 March 2018 with registration number: ACTRN12618000465257. The first participant was enrolled in to the study on 19 April 2018.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research: Research Protocols
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2019


  • Health Online for Teens
  • Australian adolescents
  • obesity
  • web-app


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