However, schools that implemented the program did not differ from comparison schools in the study’s primary outcome — the prevalence of overweight and obesity combined — which had declined 4 percent in both groups of schools by the end of the three-year study.
Joanne Harrell, professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, is a co-author of the study.
The goal of the HEALTHY Study was to determine whether changes in school food services; longer, more intense periods of physical education; and classroom activities to promote behavior change would lower risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Conducted from the beginning of the sixth grade to the end of the eighth, the study involved 4,600 students at 42 middle schools in seven areas of the country.
The results were presented June 27 (Sunday) at the 70th annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Orlando, Fla., and appear online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
For more information, see this news release from the National Institutes of Health: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-06/niod-ilo062510.php
To listen to an audio interview with Harrell, go to: http://www.unc.edu/news/video/Harrell%20MP3%20062810.mp3
News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 962-8596,