Your heart is the cornerstone of your overall health, since it pumps blood to all of your organs. For this reason, it is important to take care of your heart, not just when a problem presents itself, but also before that point. A recent study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes looked at about 9,000 children between the ages of 2 and 11.
Researchers at Northwestern University found that, of the children studied, most of them had healthy blood pressure. However, four-tenths of the children had high cholesterol levels, and nearly one-third were overweight or obese. Almost every child studied had a poor meal plan that had too much salt, and too little fruits, veggies, and healthy proteins like fish. More than one-half of the children drank too many sugary drinks. Less than one-percent of children over the age of five followed what is considered a heart healthy lifestyle.
Parents can become healthy role models for their children by eating a healthy meal plan themselves, staying active, and providing plenty of healthy food options in the home. It is also suggested that schools provide more healthful choices and promote physical activity during the day, so that they can teach the children how to lead a healthy lifestyle as early as possible.
Experts suggest that cooking at home, getting your children involved in grocery shopping and preparing healthy meals, and limiting the amount of processed foods and drinks brought into the home are some ways parents can teach their children to lead a healthy lifestyle. These small changes may even lower their risk of getting heart disease and other obesity-related conditions in the future.