Project Healthy Schools includes a research component designed to study the program’s effects on lifestyle, markers of cardiovascular risk, and obesity. Data from behavioral questionnaires and health screenings show important improvements in middle school students’ self-reported health behaviors and physiologic measures. Key findings include:
Results to Date
Over 18,200 sixth graders from 33 schools in Michigan have participated in the program. Of these students, over 5,000 have been part of our research. Research results demonstrate that this program has improved the health of the students it has reached.
- Students indicate by standardized questionnaire that they are changing their behaviors in a favorable way.
- Physiologic screenings show improvements in measures such as serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels, blood sugar, and measures of fitness.
- Low/middle income communities’ children are at higher risk based on obesity rates and physiologic measures, but appear to get even more benefit from the program.
- Among all schools, children at highest risk based on risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol seem to get the most benefit.
- Benefits appear to be sustained, not just after the five month intervention, but also at the end of years one, two and three post-PHS.
The first graph below illustrates the long term effectiveness of the program as measured in a group of over almost 600 students in Ann Arbor for 3 years following the intervention.
This graph compares the baseline and follow-up measurements from PHS for students from Ann Arbor, an affluent community, with those from Ypsilanti students, a more diverse, lower socioeconomic community. The Ypsilanti students made greater physiological improvements from baseline than the Ann Arbor students.
Presentations and Abstracts
Project Healthy Schools has been very successful in terms of publications in 2012. We had four articles published in national scientific magazines:
- Sustainable Practices within a School-Based Intervention: A Report from Project Healthy Schools. Published in World Medical and Health Policy, December 2012.
- School Intervention Incorporates Farm to School Programs to Highlight Healthy Eating: A Report form Project Healthy Schools. Published in Childhood Obesity, December 2012.
- A Public School District's Vending Machine Policy and Changes over a Four-Year Period: Implementation of a National Wellness Policy. Public Health (2012), doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2012.01.007.
- Understanding Childhood Obesity in America: Linkages Between Household Income, Community Resources, And Children's Behaviors. Published in American Heart Journal 2012 ;163:836-43.
PHS presented ten papers at national conferences in 2012. The papers include:
- Govindan M, Gurm R, Follis R, Corriveau N, Kline-Rogers E, DuRussel-Weston J, Aaronson S, Fitzgerald CM, Goldberg C, Eagle KA and Jackson EA. Gender Differences in Physiologic Markers and Health Behaviors Associated with Childhood Obesity. Poster presentation to American College of Cardiology (ACC), March 2012.
- Mohan S, Gurm R, Corriveau N, Eagle T, Kline-Rogers E, DuRussel-Weston J, Goldberg C, Jackson EA, Eagle KA. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. USA. Response to a School-Based Wellness Intervention Program in Four Communities with Differing Resources. Poster presentation to American College of Cardiology (ACC), March 2012.
- Eagle TF, Gurm R, Smith CA, Corriveau N, DuRussel-Weston J, Palma-Davis L, Aaronson S, Goldberg C, Kline-Rogers E, Jackson EA, Eagle KA. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. USA. Immediate Impact of a 10-Week Middle School Intervention to Improve Health Behaviors and Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Factors – Project Healthy Schools in Michigan. Presented at American College of Cardiology (ACC), March 2012.
- DuRussel-Weston J, Mitchell L, Fitzgerald C, Goldberg C, Aaronson S, Palma-Davis L, Gurm R, Rogers B, and Eagle K. Project Healthy Schools: Five Simple Goals For Healthier Kids. 22nd Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference San Diego, CA. April 2012. (Poster)
- Smith CA, Corriveau N, Gurm R, Goldberg CS, DuRussel-Weston J, Kline-Rogers E, Jackson EA, Eagle KA. Middle School-based Intervention Leads to Improved Behaviors: A Report from Project Healthy Schools. Poster presentation to American Heart Association – Quality of Care Outcomes Reporting (QCOR), May 2012.
- Jamerson T, Gurm R, Smith CA, Corriveau N, Kline-Rogers E, Eagle KA, Jackson EA. Racial Differences in Physiological and Behavioral Responses to School Based Wellness Program. Poster presentation to Quality of Care Outcomes Reporting (QCOR), May 2012.
- Betzig E, Gurm R, Corriveau N, Smith C, Follis R, Rao R, DuRussel-Weston J, Kline-Rogers E, Goldberg C, Eagle KA, Jackson EA. Self-Efficacy and Cardiovascular Health in 6th Graders: An Insight from Project Healthy Schools. Poster presentation to Quality of Care Outcomes Reporting (QCOR), May 2012.
- Corriveau N, Smith CA, Gurm R, Theurer A, Woznicki E, Kline-Rogers E, Fitzgerald C, DuRussel-Weston J, Goldberg C, Eagle K, Jackson EA. Middle School Wellness Program Shows Lasting Impact for Lower Income Community: A Report from Project Healthy Schools. American Heart Association, Los Angeles, CA, November 2012 (0ral)
- DuRussel-Weston J, Mitchell LR, Aaronson S, Fitzgerald C, Palma-Davis LM, Goldberg CS, Gurm R, Eagle KA. Project Healthy Schools: Collaboration to promote long-term health and wellness for youth. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, October 2012. (Roundtable)
- DuRussel-Weston J, Skala, K, Eagle KA. Project Healthy Schools: A Social Ecological Approach to Reducing Obesity and Long-Term Cardiovascular Risk in Youth. Society of Public Health Education Annual Meeting (SOPHE), San Francisco, CA, October 2012. (Oral)