Extension News

Lighten Up Iowa Team Wins Already!


AMES, Iowa – Although Lighten Up Iowa began just last week, one team is already a winner. Team WOW (We’re Out Walking) from Burlington, Iowa is the recipient of a free cardiovascular risk screening for each team member.

Iowa State University Extension, a partner organization of Lighten Up Iowa, sponsored the free cardiovascular risk screening. Any Lighten Up Iowa team with at least six members, of which three were Extension staff, was eligible for the drawing.

“We have seen from the outside the success of Lighten Up Iowa teams,” said Ruth Litchfield, Iowa State University Extension nutritionist. “Over the past 3 years Lighten Up Iowa teams have lost 161,332 pounds (73 tons) and logged 9.6 million miles. The cardiovascular risk screening will allow us to see the success from the inside.”

The HeartReach Mobile Lab will travel to Burlington on March 7 to conduct the following assessments on each Team WOW member: coronary lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides), fasting blood sugar, body mass index and body fat composition, ultrasound screening of the carotid arteries and the abdominal aorta, ankle brachial index, 12 lead EKG and cardiovascular risk factor assessment by a specialized cardiac nurse.

Doctors at Iowa Methodist Medical Center will interpret the EKG and ultrasound results.  The HeartReach Mobile Lab will return to Burlington in late summer to conduct follow-up assessments.

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death in Iowa. Statewide there were 9994 deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease in 2004.

“Lighten Up Iowa is one way Iowans can decrease their risk for cardiovascular disease. Good nutrition and physical activity can help lower blood lipids, blood glucose, blood pressure and help maintain a healthy weight. All of these are important to control risk for cardiovascular disease,” Litchfield said.

Lighten Up Iowa is a collaboration of the Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Games and Iowa State University Extension. For more information visit: http://www.lightenupiowa.org.


Contacts :

Ruth Litchfield, Ph.D., Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294-9848, litch@iastate.edu

Deborah Martinez, Coordinator of Lighten Up Iowa, (888) 777-8881, deborah@lightenupiowa.org

Tim Lane, Iowa Department of Public Health, (515) 281-7833, tlane@idph.state.ia.us

Diane Nelson, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-3178, dinelson@iastate.edu