Objectives: We sought to assess the effects of a school-based intervention program on cardiovascular disease risk factors in urban girls.
Methods: We compared heart health knowledge, health behaviors, cardiovascular risk factors, and physical fitness among a group of 442 multiethnic teenaged girls (310 experimental participants vs 132 control participants). Testing was conducted before and after a 12-week program of vigorous exercises integrated with lectures and discussions on diet, exercise, stress, and smoking.
Results: Significant differences in body fat, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart health knowledge, and whether breakfast was eaten were observed between experimental participants and control participants.
Conclusions: An integrated program of exercise and heart health-related lectures and discussions had a beneficial effect on health knowledge, health behaviors, and onset of risk factors for coronary artery disease among urban girls.