A community health promotion project called Action Heart was undertaken in two electoral wards in Rotherham to try to change lifestyles of people. Schools were included within the project. Coronary heart disease lifestyle risk factors were measured at baseline and after a three year period in the intervention area and a similar control area. Lifestyle factors in schoolchildren were measured separately from adults using a different instrument. The post intervention survey of adults and economic evaluation demonstrated that Action Heart had achieved cost-effective estimated health gains. In the schoolchildren however, a mixture of positive and negative risk factor changes in both areas was demonstrated. Significant changes in lifestyle risk factors in schoolchildren were not elicited using this approach. The possible reasons for the lack of impact on lifestyle risk factors in schoolchildren are examined and the implications for further work explored.