Wellness Achieved Through Changing Habits (The WATCH Study)


Thank you for your interest in this online program!

This program is part of an IRB-approved research study from the University of Florida led by Dr. Michelle Cardel. Dr. Cardel is an obesity and nutrition scientist and registered dietitian at UF.

This program, also known as the WATCH study, seeks to compare two types of weight loss and healthy lifestyle programs to see which is most effective. Teenage girls ages 14 – 19 may qualify to participate. Compensation is provided.

To learn more about the program, please continue to read this website or complete the survey here to see if you or your daughter qualify.

If you are ready to contact the program team, please use the information below:

Can I participate?

You may qualify to participate if you:

  • Identify as female
  • Are between the ages of 14 – 19
  • If you are under the age of 18 a parent will need to approve your participation in this study
  • Are currently overweight or obese

Additional criteria apply.

Please complete the survey here to see if you qualify or reach out to the study team directly:

What will I be asked to do?

Overall, this study will last approximately 12 months and will be completed online. Compensation is provided.

At the beginning and end of the study, you will be asked to:

  • Answer surveys about yourself and your health, specifically related to your eating behaviors, stress, confidence and emotions
  • Provide health measurements including height and weight
  • Use an activity monitor (provided by study team) and keep a sleep diary for 7 days
  • Provide dietary recalls to the study team

These activities will last about 7 days in total. All participants will have a nutrition consultation with Dr. Cardel over Zoom.

Next, you will be randomized to one of the two programs. You will not be able to select your program because you will be put into one of the two groups by chance (like flipping a coin).

The first group will complete the lifestyle program remotely via Zoom meetings and the second group will complete the lifestyle program at home at their own pace.

A summary of both groups can be found below. The program team can provide additional details.

Group 1:

  • Attend 15 remote sessions that are 90 minutes in length, spread out through 6 months
  • Sessions will include nutritional education, physical activity education and help you build skills for goal-setting and problem-solving

Group 2:

  • Receive 15 emailed handout packets, spread out through 6 months
  • These handouts will include healthy lifestyle information

At a 6-month follow-up, you will be asked to complete the same assessments as you completed at the beginning and end of the study including body measurements and surveys.

Questions about the study?

You can complete the survey here to see if you qualify or reach out to the study team directly:



Monetary compensation


Can be done from home



Healthy living, Exercise and weight loss, Managing your weight with healthy eating, Weight Loss counseling, Weight management

Principal Investigator

Michelle Cardel, Ph.D., R.D.


Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics

Contact Information



Be an Informed Participant

Before deciding to participate in a research study, take time to learn about clinical research, how it's conducted and your rights as a research participant. Following are some helpful resources from independent sources. Always remember that a clinical research study is research, not treatment.

Know Who to Contact

  • Eligibility: For questions about a specific study and who is eligible to participate, call or email the contact person listed for that study.
  • Your Rights: For questions about your rights as a research participant, contact the UF Institutional Review Boards at 352-273-9600.
  • Feedback: For general questions or feedback about study listings, email the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UFStudies@health.ufl.edu.

Other Resources

  • HealthStreet: Health-focused services, classes and events, and opportunities to participate in research.
  • ResearchMatch.org: Join a national registry of volunteers willing to be contacted about research studies.

For Research Teams