UI investigators awarded $750,000 grant to study health and fitness among Iowa youth

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has awarded investigators in the University of Iowa College of Public Health a three-year, $750,000 grant to expand a study of health and fitness among youth in Muscatine, Iowa.

The new grant will establish Choosing Healthy Actions in Muscatine Public Schools (CHAMPS), a collaboration between the UI, the Muscatine Community School District, and the local community to implement a health curriculum focused on educating students about physical activity, proper food intake, and lowering their cardiovascular risk.

"CHAMPS will help create the social and physical environment students need to make proper, healthy choices," said Trudy L. Burns, M.P.H., Ph.D., UI professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health. "We very much appreciate the continued support from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust in our efforts."

"The CHAMPS program continues a relationship between the UI and the Muscatine-community that began in 1970 with the Muscatine Heart Study, the longest running study of cardiovascular risk factors in children in the world. Many of the students who will participate in CHAMPS are the children and grandchildren of the original Muscatine Heart Study participants.

"The dramatic increase in poor-health indicators among Muscatine middle school students over the forty years of the Muscatine Heart Study is extremely concerning," Burns concluded. "CHAMPS, however, provides a great opportunity to reverse this trend by teaching healthy habits that these young people can practice for the rest of their lives."

CHAMPS includes investigators from the UI's departments of epidemiology, biostatistics, neurology, ophthalmology, and health and human physiology.

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is one of the largest private philanthropic foundations in the state of Iowa. Biomedical and scientific research; primary, secondary and higher education; and other issues related to the needs of youth are the program areas of greatest interest to the Carver Charitable Trust.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its website at http://www.uiowafoundation.org.

Friday, August 12, 2011