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Schools May Hold The Key To Improved Pediatric Health

May 18, 2011 by  

Schools may hold the key to improved pediatric healthWhen students in Ann Arbor, Mich. were provided with nutritious food options in the cafeteria, more physical education classes and lessons on making healthy lifestyle choices, they had the added benefits of lowering their cholesterol levels and improving their resting heart rates, according to University of Michigan researchers.

The team of scientists conducted the four-year intervention study of more than 590 students in order to measure the long-term outcome of such efforts.

Authors of the study said that the improvements that the kids made in their health could mean a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the interventions appeared to have a lasting impact.

“Results of the wellness survey indicate that, after four years, students continued to make health-conscious decisions,” said co-author Elizabeth A. Jackson.

On average, the students lowered their cholesterol levels by about 18 points. Also, the average resting heart rate of a child was 81.3 beats per minute (BPM) before the intervention, but was reduced to 78.3 BPM at the end of the four years.

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