An alarming new study shows that many parents just don't realize what's happening to their child's heart.
As we recently reported, a new report from the American Heart Association shows that a massive amount of children — 91 percent in fact — have a poor diet, and most of them aren’t meeting the seven basic standards of good heart health. And it shows that many parents don’t realize that the simple things they’re doing are basically ruining their child’s health.
Scientists measured children against seven basics of healthy living: a health body mass index (BMI); an appropriate amount of exercise; no smoking; consumption of a healthy diet; low cholesterol levels; good blood pressure; and good blood sugar levels, according to an AHA statement. Scientists found that the vast majority of children weren’t meeting these basic guidelines, with poor diet and a lack of exercise being the main culprits. And it demonstrates the simple decision parents make are having big negative consequences.
Instead of providing health options to their kids, parents often resort to something that is easier or something that will cause their children to complain less, such as fast food or sweets and sugary drinks. This results in children getting a huge amount of nutritionless calories that turn immediately into fat. And while parents are solving a short term problem, they’re creating big problems down the road, putting children at risk of diabetes and other health issues.
Also, parents often don’t push their children to exercise, allowing them to lounge around the house all day because it is more difficult to get them outside and exercising. But medical professionals recommend children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and many aren’t reaching that threshold.
“Instead of taking a wait-and-see approach by treating disease later in adulthood, we should help children maintain the standards of ideal cardiovascular health that most children are born with,” said Julia Steinberger, M.D., M.S., lead author of the new statement, professor in pediatrics and director of pediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “Engaging in these ideal health behaviors early in life can have a tremendous benefit on maintaining ideal health throughout the lifespan. A primary reason for so few children having ideal cardiovascular health is poor nutrition – children are eating high-calorie, low-nutrition foods and not eating enough healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, fish and other foods strongly associated with good heart health and a healthy body weight.”