Children and Heart Health
Can healthy habits developed in childhood and adolescence affect heart health in adulthood?
Yes, according to some preliminary studies that have been done.
The Wall Street Journal reports that although these studies have limitations one of the conclusions seems to actually confirm some common sense beliefs according to Dr. Stephen Daniels, a pediatrician in chief at Children’s Hospital in Denver, who is co-author of one of the studies… “lifestyle starting early in life is a very important factor for long term cardiovascular health”
Death from cardiovascular disease has decreased over the years but if childhood obesity rates continue to rise so will cardiovascular related deaths. Obesity is related to diabetes and both of these medical problems are related to cardiovascular health or lack of it.
At around 8 years of age risk factors for cardiovascular disease begin to become meaningful. So perhaps that is a good time to begin heart-risk evaluations in children.
These evaluations should include evaluations of the following:
- Blood pressure
- Questions concerning diet
- Second hand smoke exposure
Eating fruits and vegetables is important as well. Low consumption of fruits and veggies is associated with arterial stiffness that occurs in all of us as we age. Why eating fruits and veggies keep arteries healthy is still mostly unknown.
It seems like common sense but sometimes as parents we do not heed what we know as being good for us and for our children. Since children do imitate us all the time if we do not eat fruits and veggies why would our children.
Nutrition is so very important to our health and that of our family.
The best way to get our family to eat healthy foods is to eat healthy foods ourselves. We need of course to eat in moderation.
Our children imitate us.
What I know for sure is that this puts a lot of pressure on us as parents.