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PRC Project Description

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Planet Health—A Health Education Program for School Children


Host Institution
Harvard University (previous center): Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity

Health Topics
Obesity & overweight | Physical activity | School health

The Harvard PRC’s Planet Health curriculum incorporates health education into language arts, math, science, social studies, and physical education classes for 6th–8th graders. It aims to increase physical activity and improve diet. The curriculum was tested and evaluated in six of Boston’s inner-city middle schools where about 90% of teachers who trained in and used it believed it had a good effect on their students and wanted to continue teaching it. Using grants from the U.S. Department of Education and from Physical Education in Progress, the researchers sustained and expanded the program to include curricula for 4th and 5th grade students.
Research Setting
City/Town | School or school district | Urban area
Race or Ethnicity
No specific focus
No specific focus
Age Group
Children (4-11 years) | Adolescents (12-17 years)
Related Story of Prevention Research
Reading, Writing, and Reducing Obesity

Related Prevention Strategy
Planet Health for Obesity Reduction in School Children—Readily Accepted and Cost-Effective

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Principal Investigator
Steven Gortmaker

Project Identifier
Core Project (1998-2004)

Funding Source
PRC Program

Project Status
Not active