Improve Cholesterol and LDL With Information

Project Healthy Schools fights obesity with an information intervention

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It is not easy to live healthy especially with so little information. There are some obvious factors that benefit health, but sometimes a little more information can go a long way.

Project Healthy Schools is the University of Michigan and local community and business organizations. They offer students healthier cafeteria foods, more physical education and lessons about health choices. With this information, the students were able to improve cholesterol and LDL levels, and resting heart rate.

"Schools should intervene and provide more health education to students."

Elizabeth A. Jackson and colleagues from the University of Michigan conducted the study through Project Healthy Schools. There were 539 middle school students that participated in the study. The researchers measured body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart rate and student self-evaluations of diet, exercise and other behaviors for a period of four years.

The intervention program focused on eating more fruits and vegetables, eating less fatty foods, and making better drink choices. Jackson also suggested getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and spending less time in front of the TV and computer.

The middle school students improved average cholesterol and LDL levels and lowered the average resting heart rates by the end of the intervention. The intervention project was so successful that more middle schools in Michigan are joining in.

Programs like this can greatly improve obesity rates and lower health risks in the long run. We should continue to encourage children to play outside and make better food choices by providing more information in schools.

The Study

  • University of Michigan
  • 4 year intervention conducted through Project Healthy Schools
  • Purpose to promote healthier lifestyle choices
  • 593 students
  • Collected data on body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart rate, exercise, other behaviors, and self-evaluation of diet
  • Average cholesterol was 167.39 mg/dL at the start, and 149.04 mg/dL at the end
  • Average LDL was 92.02 mg/dL compared to 85.88 mg/dL
  • Average resting heart rate was 81.3 compared to 78.3 at the end
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 16, 2011
Last Updated:
May 17, 2011