Cardiovascular diseases are strongly associated with unhealthy habits, such as a low-quality nutritional diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, or tobacco consumption. Many of these behaviors are already present during childhood and adolescence. For this reason, the school environment plays a key role in promoting health, as it can have an early impact on a population level through the educational community.
This is what the SI! Program (Integral Health) aims to achieve for the promotion of cardiovascular health in the school environment. It is designed by the SHE Foundation with the support of La Caixa Foundation and directed by Valentín Fuster, the director of the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC).
Now, the JAMA Cardiology journal has published the final results of a project conducted by the SHE Foundation, CNIC, and the University of Barcelona, involving 1,326 adolescents from 24 public secondary education centers in Madrid and Barcelona. The data has shown a beneficial impact on adolescents, which largely depended on the intensity of the educational content. Unfortunately, this impact did not persist over time.
The first authors of the study are Glòria Santos-Beneit from the Foundation for Science, Health and Education (SHE) and the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital; Juan M. Fernández-Alvira from the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC); and Anna Tresserra-Rimbau, a professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences of UB and a member of the Institute of Research in Food Health (INSA-UB), located at the Torribera Food Campus, and the Biomedical Research Network Center for the Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN).
Experts Rosa María Lamuela, Sònia L. Ramírez, Emily Laveriano, and Camila Arancibia from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and INSA-UB, and Ramon Estruch from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of UB, CLÍNIC-IDIBAPS, and CIBEROBN also participated in the study.
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