Background: Childhood obesity is one of our nation's most pressing health problems. Interventions to improve health behaviors and reduce cardiovascular (CV) risk factors are needed to address this epidemic. Methods: We studied 2,048 sixth graders in middle schools in 4 SE Michigan (MI) communities participating in Project Healthy Schools (PHS). Intervention: 10 educational sessions, changing nutrition offerings, promoting healthy eating and activities. Goals included eating more fruits and vegetables, exercise >150 minutes/week, less mindless time in front of a screen, less high sugar beverages, and less fast/fatty food. Pre/ post behaviors were assessed using a modified SPAN questionnaire. Measured risk factors included blood pressure (BP), total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides. Results: 16.2% were overweight; 15.2% were obese. PHS led to positive dietary and activity changes including less video game time, less TV/ video time, more time with intramural sports. Students increased moderate exercise and consumption of fruits/vegetables and favorable physiologic changes were seen in BP, total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and random glucose (see figure). Conclusions: Overweight and obese status is present in nearly 1/3 of SE MI 6th grade students. PHS is effective in improving health behaviors and reducing CV risk factors among these students. Further studies are needed to understand which aspects of middle-school based interventions are most successful in improving students' health. (Figure presented).
Eagle, T. F., Gurm, R., Smith, C., Corriveau, N., Du-Russel-Weston, J., Palma-Davis, L., … Eagle, K. (2012). IMMEDIATE IMPACT OF A 10-WEEK MIDDLE SCHOOL INTERVENTION TO IMPROVE HEALTH BEHAVIORS AND REDUCE CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS – PROJECT HEALTHY SCHOOLS IN MICHIGAN. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 59(13), E1797. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0735-1097(12)61798-7