Memorial FIT Kids
Memorial FIT Kids is a joint effort between Memorial Healthcare, area school districts, Project Healthy Schools, University of Michigan, Baker College of Owosso, and the Shiawassee Family YMCA. The program is funded by the Memorial Healthcare Foundation.
In 2012, the Memorial FIT Kids program was named one of the nation’s top ten Programs of Excellence by Jackson Healthcare Hospital Charitable Services Awards.
In 2013, the FIT Kids program received the Innovations in Healthcare Award and was recognized as a project of excellence for Implementing Healthy Behaviors from the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.
What is Memorial FIT Kids?
This program is dedicated to improving the health of the Shiawassee County region’s youth through education and screening. This program has evaluated over 4,500 area sixth grade students for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors over the last nine years. The program includes a CVD risk factor assessment followed by 10 weeks of in-class, interactive health education. Following the 10-week education program, students are rescreened to evaluate behavioral changes and to determine if CVD risk factors have changed. Students participate voluntarily with parental permission.
With the lessons and activities from the University of Michigan’s Project Healthy Schools program and the educational expertise of and positive relationships established by the Memorial FIT Kids program, we have been able to show improvements in two separate longitudinal studies
Sixth Grade Baseline and Follow Screening Study: During the 2009-2010 school year, seven out of nine physiological screening factors of the participating sixth grade students saw improvement from the baseline screening performed at the beginning of the Memorial FIT Kids lessons as compared to the follow-up screening completed at the conclusion of the 10-week lesson program. Of these improvements, two (Mean Systolic Blood Pressure and Recovery Heart Rate) were statistically significant, meaning the results were unlikely to have occurred by chance.
Longitudinal Study #1: A two-year longitudinal study completed in April 2011 on Corunna Middle School eighth graders, who participated in the pilot program as sixth graders, is also showing long-term results from the program:
- Total cholesterol levels dropped 11 points
- Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) dropped 11 points
- Statistically important improvements in resting heart rate with a drop of three beats per minute (BPM)
- Consumption of fruits increased .24 times per day
- Amount of moderate exercise performed increased by .86 times per week
Longitudinal Study #2: Our program’s success was proven again through a second longitudinal study completed in April 2012. Participating schools were Corunna Middle School, Bryant Elementary (Owosso) and St. Paul Catholic School (Owosso). This two-year follow-up screening showed:
- Decrease in total cholesterol of 13 point
- Drop in low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels of 8 points
- High density lipoprotein (HDL) improvements
- Significant drop in resting heart rate of approximately 5 beats per minute (BPM)
- A decrease in recovery heart rate of almost 5 beat per minutes (BPM)
- Measurable increase noted in amount of moderate exercise and muscle strengthening exercise reported
- Increase in quantity of vigorous exercise reported
- These results show a relationship to the fact that as eighth graders, students reported and were practicing healthier eating habits.
We need to continue to engage schools, parents and the students themselves in making changes and setting a course for a lifetime of health. Visit our Weight Management Resources page for tips and links.
Live Healthy Collaboration
Memorial Healthcare is a member of the Live Healthy Collaboration which consists of agency representatives from the Shiawassee YMCA, Shiawassee Regional Educational School District (RESD), local schools, Michigan Cooperative Extension Service, Shiawassee County Health Department, local grocers, Memorial Healthcare, and Health Delivery, Inc. (HDI).
To learn more about the Memorial FIT Kids program, call 989.729.4724.