Heart healthy habits for children: From 2015 to 2019, the researchers followed all these people, they were on average 46 years old, which was not much. They found that about 800 of them had heart disease (such as heart attack or stroke), of which more than 300 were fatal.
When the researchers compared the results with the values of five factors, they found that they were in fact risk factors:
People with higher than normal values for all risk factors have an almost three times higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Smoking is the biggest risk factor, followed by BMI, systolic blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.
You do not have to have a total of five risk factors; For example, people who were obese as children were three times more likely to have heart disease, and those with high or higher blood pressure were twice as likely to be at risk.
None of this is surprising, but such a clear vision should be a wake-up call, especially for parents.
What can parents do to lead a healthy adulthood?
Parents can take these important steps:
Find out if your child is in danger. In fact, most parents do not pay much attention to the numbers or results of blood tests that come from checking their child. But these numbers are important.
Make sure you know your child’s BMI and whether he or she is healthy. In adults, we say that 19 to 25 BMI is healthy. In children and adolescents, it can be a bit complicated; We look at BMI percentages by age and gender. If the percentile is between 85 and 95, the child is overweight; If he is over 95, the child will be obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a computer that you can use to get your BMI and percentile.
Find out your child’s blood pressure if he or she is healthy. Again, it depends on age, gender, and height. Unfortunately, many pediatricians lose abnormal blood pressure because numbers that seem normal may be unhealthy for some children, so it’s important to ask your doctor for sure. From the age of 3, your child should have his or her blood pressure measured at each test.
Ask about checking your child’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It usually occurs during adolescence, but can be done earlier if the child is overweight or has a long family history. If you or a close family member has high cholesterol or triglycerides, make sure your pediatrician knows them.
Ask your child about smoking (and other substances). Don’t assume you know.
Take seriously what you learned from this study. The “it’s just baby fat” or “enough time to stay healthy” policy is dangerous.
If your child has a high BMI, high blood pressure, cholesterol or triglyceride levels, talk to your doctor about what you can do – and do it.
No matter how many children you have, make sure you have a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and low protein. Limit added sugar (especially in beverages), processed foods and unhealthy fats.
The same thing happens with exercise: children should exercise for an hour a day. Unless your child is a team sports person (or your life is not suitable for team sports), this is not necessarily a team sport; Active play, walking, exercise videos or dancing in the living room are also good.
Talk to your children about not smoking. Get started quickly – long before adolescence, when peer pressure becomes strong. Make sure they know the facts and help them learn and practice ways to say no.
Consult your doctor regularly. Children should see their doctor at least once a year, and if your child has one of five risk factors, they may need to visit more often. Prioritize these visits – your child’s life depends on it.