updated 10/25/2006 12:11:37 PM ET 2006-10-25T16:11:37

Research suggests that overweight teens can reduce their risk for diabetes and other diseases by lifting weights as part of a general health program.

Doctor Michael Goran at the University of Southern California says illnesses such as diabetes are linked to obesity, which should be tackled before adulthood. Goran says it’s wrong to think pudgy kids will just “grow out of it.”

Goran’s study of inner-city teenage Hispanic boys shows the group dramatically reduced the chance of diabetes by lifting weights and losing weight. He says they’re motivated because they see relatives taking diabetes medication and sometimes losing their legs to the disease.

High school junior Eddie Choz works out at USC twice a week. He says he’s learned how to exercise, and what to eat and not to eat.

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