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University of Michigan Health System earns major grant to expand childhood obesity programming

WILMINGTON, Del. The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation program, Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM, today announced a grant of more than $232,000 to the University of Michigan Health System to expand Project Healthy Schools.

The program focuses on sixth grade students and is designed to reduce childhood obesity and its long-term health risks. Project Healthy Schools has consistently shown that it lowers total cholesterol and blood pressure in students.

"Good heart health starts at a young age. Schools are powerful places to shape the health, education and wellbeing of our children," says Kim Eagle, M.D., the Albion Walter Hewlett professor of internal medicine and a director of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. "That is why Project Healthy Schools creates environments where physical activity and healthy eating are accessible and encouraged."

The Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM grant will enable continued growth of Project Healthy Schools into a model school-based program that supports healthy children and families and allow PHS to reach more students, especially those in lower income and more diverse communities.

Project Healthy Schools program is offered at 13 locations in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Owosso and metro Detroit.

The program is designed to teach sixth graders heart-healthy lifestyles including eating more fruits and vegetables, making better beverage choices, engaging in 150 minutes of exercise per week, eating less fast food and less fatty foods, plus reducing time spent in front of computer and video game screens.

"Cardiovascular disease is taking a terrible toll on our families, our communities and our nation," says James W. Blasetto, M.D., chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation.

"The University of Michigan is developing creative heart-healthy programs tailored to meet the individual needs of the community."


Contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll
University of Michigan Health System

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