New studies link overweight children to older hearts
Posted on Dec 03, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera
At the American Heart Association some new studies were reported on but not released yet.
- One study has found that kids who are obese are showing signs of heart disease. We know that young children who are overweight or obese may have high cholesterol levels. But in this study, it found that kids as young as 10 had the arteries of a 45 year old. How scary is that!? This study was done on 70 children so more data is needed
- Another study found a correlation that overweight kids and an enlarged left atrium (the heart's main pumping chamber). Enlarged left atrium is a risk factor for stroke and other heart conditions.
- A third study reported at the AHA conference showed that overweight children may have an impariment in the heart's ability to relax between beats. This is comparable to arterial stiffness of a 30-40 year old.
I share with you these studies because the data is piling up on how really, really serious the lifelong effects of being overweight or obese as a child can be. We are talking about serious quality of life changes for our children.But we can do something about it. We can make a difference by starting to change the child's habits now, and it starts with the whole family making a family commitment towards health. Don't single out the child to make changes, the whole family needs to work together, afterall, where did they learn their habits from?
- Don't change everything all at once.
- Just take one goal at a time.
- Use our free agreements to sit down and discuss the family goals and all sign and commit to working on that one healthy habit change
- Use our free tracking sheets to track it. Our sheets are colorful and fun and appealing to children.
- Reward and celebrate small successes
- And yes, you know what I am going to say, Be patient and keep it fun!
- Remember, every small change adds up to making a healthier child