KEYC - Preventing Heart Disease in Young Adults and Children

Preventing Heart Disease in Young Adults and Children

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MANKATO, Minn. -

High blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity are no longer just concerns for older adults.
 
Just like with adults, diet and exercise are key components to preventing heart disease within children.
 
"For those 2 and above it's really important that we're really getting 60 minutes of activity a day or more, really limiting screen time, staying active, getting involved in things like sports, after school programs all that's really good," Nurse Practitioner with Mayo Clinic Health Systems Lauren Havens said.
 
As far as diet, sticking to the USDA's food plate will help kids and teens make healthy choices.

"Be really conscious about eating vegetables, fruits are also very important and then our lean meats and proteins so chicken, turkey, fish those are all really, really important. Low fat dairy products moving to 1% in skim milk is really good and whole grains," Havens said.
 
A sneaky contributor to weight gain is sugar. It can show up in just about anything but minimizing fruit juices is a great first step at cutting it out.
 
"There are a lot of things we can prevent and do to make sure we're staying heart healthy, one of those things is getting in for your regular physicals, well-child checks all that is very important. At those visits we're checking your blood pressure we're making sure you're not over weight, we're discussing ways to help you be better at those things. Also looking at your cholesterol, lipid screenings, checking of blood glucose to make sure you're not diabetic. Those are all screenings that are available and good to talk about with your provider and when it's appropriate for you," Havens added.
 
Getting your health on track can be a challenge but taking it on as a family can make it easier.
 
"Let your kids have choices let them be a part of meal planning, grocery shopping that's all very important and sets you up for good habits later on," Havens said.
 
Talk with your provider about what is appropriate for you and your family.

--KEYC News 12