Healthy Class of 2010
The Healthy Class of 2010 (HC 2010) was a comprehensive, multi-year health promotion campaign designed to impact the Pittsburgh, PA Public Schools’ environment, their policies, and potentially the health behaviors of its students. To plan the campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Health Index, a health assessment tool designed to improve school health policies and programs, and selected collaboration principles (building on partners’ strengths and resources, reciprocal learning, cultural humility, and long-term commitment) were used to build unique collaborations between the Pittsburgh School District and the University of Pittsburgh.
Initiated in the 2003-2004 academic year, HC 2010 aimed to: 1) increase students’ knowledge and attitudes regarding physical activity and nutrition; and 2) engage them in an “active living” way of life by integrating physical activity and healthy eating into their daily routines. To address these aims, several HC 2010 activities were conducted from 2003 to 2006 including, but not limited to pedometer distribution to track the student’s physical activity, student’s written anthologies that highlighted the school district’s commitment to integrating health and wellness across the curricula, and mini grant proposals ($1500 each) that a school could use to address physical activity (e.g., develop an Afro-Latino Dance Troupe) and nutrition (e.g., purchase a microwave to heat meals that students brought from home).
Contact: Dr. James Butler III
In 2006, HC 2010 became a prospective cohort study that followed the students until their graduation in 2010. Importantly, their graduation date coincided with the deadline set for Healthy People 2010, the nation’s health promotion and disease prevention agenda, making the implementation of the campaign particularly opportune. Changes in behaviors and attitudes related to healthy lifestyles among the students were tracked via the HC 2010 Survey. This 63-item, self administered instrument addressed seven key areas: 1) demographic information; 2) HC 2010 activities attended by the students; 3) perception of body weight; 4) nutrition practices; 5) physical activity and exercise; 6) health-related topics discussed by physicians/healthcare providers; and, 7) tobacco use. Survey results suggested that a significant proportion of the students exercised yet, their fruit and vegetable consumption was far less than the national standard of >5 servings/day. Smoking did not appear to be a priority health-compromising behavior. Thus, school-based interventions that focus on healthy eating, exercise, and cardiovascular risk reduction can significantly alter the trajectory toward chronic disease and mortality in adulthood.