Childcare Education Institute writes that while genetics is certainly a factor for many adult heart disease patients, nevertheless, most cases are related to a person's long-term diet and exercise habits. Attitudes toward food and exercise have been found to form early in life. Today, March 4, 2013, MyHealthyToday has reported on a HealthDay article, Heart-Healthy Habits in Childhood May Prevent Future Disease.
An expert says that teaching children heart-healthy habits now can help protect them from heart disease later in life. Dr. Zachary Stone has said, "The process of atherosclerosis which is the hardening of the arteries and is known to cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death, has been shown to begin in early childhood. It's important to concentrate on healthy lifestyles in children to prevent adult cardiovascular disease."
Diet, physical-activity levels and exposure to secondhand smoke are the three most important heart-health areas to watch in children. Dr. Stone has said,"Good nutrition can help to decrease cardiovascular disease. It can help prevent obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are all known cardiovascular risk factors." A healthy diet for a child should be low in saturated fats and mostly include fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Dr. Stone has also said, "One can increase physical activity in children by limiting their sedentary activities. Additionally, kids should participate in at least one hour of moderate activity daily to help contribute to their cardiovascular health." He has suggested that parents should limit children's television and computer time to one to two hours a day. Also, a smoke-free environment is very important. Dr. Stone has commented, "Exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous to the health of a child for many reasons, including that it can increase a child's risk of developing heart disease as an adult."