Memorial FIT Kids
Memorial FIT Kids is a joint effort between Memorial Healthcare, area school districts, Project Healthy Schools -University of Michigan, and Baker College of Owosso. The program is funded by the Memorial Healthcare Foundation.
What is Memorial FIT Kids?
This program is dedicated to improving the health of the Shiawassee County region’s youth through education and screening. The program has evaluated over 4,880 area sixth grade students for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors over the last thirteen 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 student health throughout the county.
Sixth Grade Baseline and Follow Up Screening: During the 2016-2017 school year, the participating sixth grade students took part in a baseline screening at the beginning of the Memorial FIT Kids lessons. Once the lessons were finished, the students participated in a follow-up screening which showed:
- Total cholesterol dropped by over 8 points
- Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) decreased by 6 points
- Triglycerides dropped by 4 points
- Random glucose decreased by almost 8 points
- The students demonstrated an increase in fruit consumption
- Students demonstrated decreases in fried snacks, chocolate candy,diet soda and sugary beverage consumption
- Students also demonstrated an increase in physical activity
Longitudinal Study #1: A two-year longitudinal study completed in April 2016, on eighth graders who participated in the program as sixth graders, also showed long-term results from the program:
- Total cholesterol levels dropped by almost 4 points
- High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) improved by 8 points
- Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) dropped 8 points
- Triglycerides dropped by an astounding 25 points
- Improvements in resting heart rate with a drop of three beats per minute (BPM)
- A decrease in recovery heart rate by 11 beats per minute (BPM)
- Decrease in the amount of sugary beverages, diet soda, chocolate, and sweet treats consumed
- Decrease in tv, computer and video game time each week
- Students also demonstrated an increase physical activity each week
Longitudinal Study #2: The success of our program was proven again through a second longitudinal study completed in March 2017, by 8th grade students. This two-year follow-up screening showed:
- Decrease in total cholesterol of 10 point
- Drop in low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels of 10 points
- Decrease in triglycerides by 2 points
- Significant drop in resting heart rate of approximately 7 beats per minute (BPM)
- A decrease in recovery heart rate of 2 beats per minutes (BPM)
- Demonstrated decreases in the amount of chocolate candy, diet soda, and sugary beverages consumed each week
- Decrease in the amount of tv time watched each week
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.
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.
In 2017, Memorial FIT Kids celebrated ten years of partnering with Project Healthy Schools - University of Michigan.
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 faith and community based organizations and Memorial Healthcare.
To learn more about the Memorial FIT Kids program, call 989.729.4852.