Many habits that are picked up in childhood can be carried on into adulthood. That is why it's troubling for healthcare professionals to see a number of children consuming unhealthy diets and living sedentary lifestyles. Such habits can lead to serious health conditions and higher life insurance premiums.
Doctors from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center conducted a study on more than 600 preteens and young adults. They found that those whose arterial stiffness was greatest were more likely to develop heart disease.
The research teams such findings will help motivate parents and their children to engage in healthier lifestyles. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Dr. Tom Kimball has also identified body mass index as being insightful.
"Health care professionals shouldn't accept current trends in childhood BMI and left ventricular mass when determining if children are healthy and have normal hearts," says Kimball. "Pediatricians and family physicians must start measuring children's BMI as early as age 3 and help families reverse it if required."
Heart disease is a serious and deadly health condition. More than 630,000 people lose their life to the disease in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.