When Our Lifestyle Sickens Us!

Are the foundations for "prosperity diseases" already present in our youth? To answer this question the students of the HLFS Ursprung collected and analyzed health and nutritional data from 325 of their classmates

Microwave-Pizza, TV dinners, chips etc. - such fast food has become a convenient habit for many people. Most people don't have time for healthy cooking and exercise. And the dangers of such habits - e.g. obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease - are easily ignored or forgotten.

Students at the HLFS Ursprung wanted to stop being bystanders to poor health. They decided to make a change and to start with themselves. Together with the Oberndorf Hospital they organized a check-up for the entire school. With professional guidance blood was taken, body mass measured, and liver ultrasounds were taken. After the physical tests each participant was given a detailed questionnaire on their health and lifestyle. Lastly, the amount of copper and iron in the student`s blood was measured.

The first results of the statistical work were impressive. In the youth, one can already find concrete signs of the beginnings of "prosperity illnesses". Even if the students experienced no ill effects at present, the signs of these developing illnesses must not be overlooked. Also - the work breaks ground - by examining in children, there is a link between the well documented risk factors like blood fat and waist size and levels of the trace elements copper and iron. The size of a role these elements play in the development of "prosperity disease" is still being examined.

The final results of this work are to be published in a scientific journal with the students (thanks to their work as organizational and creative directors) as co-authors.


  • To explore the relationship between the trace elements iron and copper with the Metabolic Syndrome.
  • To motivate fellow students to become more health conscious.
  • To become versed in laboratory work and reading.
  • To be able to understand and run complex medical lab-analysis.
  • To learn data collection and analysis skills.
  • To be able to prepare healthy meals.
  • To understand and use scientific language.


  • The students planned (without adult assistance) the logistical details for the health check and questionnaire for the entire school.
  • They learned the important medical test methods (operating the ultrasound, taking blood, etc.).
  • They actively took part in determining the blood parameters and they undertook the subtasks themselves.
  • They actively took part in the software analysis of the data.
  • They invented a healthy snack, that is also marketable to young people.

Mile Stones

  • Motivate their schoolmates to become more health conscious by the school wide health check.
  • Work in the blood lab in the course of the practical analysis of the students' samples.
  • To produce as a team scientific valuable data and publish it in a scientific journal.
  • Presentation of a complete project report, that is available both in English and German.

This project has been completed.