Heart Disease in Young Children

I admit, kind of a dramatic title, but not without merit. In Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman points out that an unhealthy diet early in life sets the stage for coronary atherosclerosis and heart disease later in life. He’s a refresher from the book:
There is considerable evidence that the lipoprotein abnormalities (high LDL and low HDL) that are linked to heart attack deaths in adulthood begin to develop in early childhood and that higher cholesterol levels eventually get “set” by early food habits.1 What we eat during our childhood affects our lifetime cholesterol levels. For many, changing the diet to a plant-based, low-saturated-fat diet in later life does not result in the favorable cholesterol levels that would have been seen if the dietary improvements were started much earlier in life.
And don't forget exercise. According to Reuters a new study has revealed teens that get a minimum of ninety minutes of exercise three times a week reduce their cardiovascular risk. The results are pretty amazing, here’s an excerpt:
After six months, tests showed that the exercisers had improved the flexibility of their arteries, allowing these vessels to carry more oxygen-rich blood. Moreover, the already expanded inner layer of their arteries had shrunk.

The exercisers also lowered their cholesterol levels and blood pressure and lost weight.
Good thing my folks had me playing soccer and little league when I was a kid. The researchers do point out that primary obstacle to all this is teen’s low perseverance and motivation to exercise. Maybe you could just do what my father did, hold my Nintendo hostage until I worked up a sweat.
1. Vikari JS, Raitakari OT, Simell O. Nutritional influences on lipids and future atherosclerosis beginning prenatally and during childhood. Curr Opin Lipidol 2002;13(1):11-18.
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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
al - November 1, 2006 4:39 PM

I'm curious as to why there hasn't been a mention yet of the website, World's Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.com). It's teachings seem to be fairly well in line with Dr. Furhman's, and it provides us with more yummy recipes.

Desiree - October 17, 2007 4:01 PM

i have a heart problem at the age of 17. it is very hard for me...im not allowed to play sports, or do many things that a 17 year old is able to do. I really wished my parents would have took better care of me at a young age.

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