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Posted on 2/22/2013
### Comments for "You are never too young to start taking care of your heart"
Most people associate poor heart health with the elderly, but proper care of the heart should start at a young age. Signs of heart disease can begin to appear at childhood, especially if the child is overweight. Childhood obesity in the United States has become a problem in recent years. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, between 16% and 33% of children and teenagers are obese. As a result, there has been a sharp rise in obesity-related problems like type 2 diabetes, which is usually seen only in adults. Because obese children are more likely to be obese adults, preventing obesity in childhood may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other obesity-related diseases.
It's important to make healthy lifestyle habits that will help care for the heart. But it is important to understand that prevention is the best way to avoid a heart problem later in life. Controlling as many risk factors as possible, starting in childhood, will help reduce a child's risk of developing heart disease as an adult. Parents should instill these habits in their children at a young age. This will give them the tools to care for their own hearts as they get older. Again, some of these risk factors can be changed, treated, or modified, and some cannot (like family history).
What can you do to help your children lead healthier lifestyles? The CDC advises implementing a healthier diet, becoming more physically active (turn off that XBox) and acknowledging the fact that you, your family, friends, school and others play an important role in their health. Be a role model, healthy habits start with you as the parent. Have meals together as a family. Show your children that you love to eat healthy foods. You will be surprised how many habits are passed down from parents to children through observation.
By Frank Garcia, Interactive Media and Marketing Manager
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