Lively, educational comic strips, geared to 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls, can help these young viewers make better food choices and improve their physical fitness. That's what happened in a preliminary study, reported several years ago, with 78 Internet-savvy African American girls age 8 to 10. Now, the program's creators hope to repeat the study in a larger test with 400 young volunteers and their parents. The scientists also want to develop a version targeted to Hispanic girls.

Behavioral science researcher and assistant professor of pediatrics Deborah Thompson and a team of colleagues created the comic strips-based "Food, Fun, and Fitness Internet Program for Girls." Thompson and some of her co-investigators, including Tom Baranowski, Karen Cullen, and others, are at the ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

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