Early Childhood Health Habits and Later Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Pediatricians are becoming increasingly concerned that cardiovascular disease is occurring at a younger and younger age. Cardiovascular disease is now so common at younger ages that it no longer is listed in medical textbooks under the category of “adult onset diseases”. A review article in the July 2017 issue of Pediatrics showed that an unhealthy diet and unhealthy rate of weight gain in the early years is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially high blood pressure in children. And, high blood pressure is now considered the number one risk factor for later developing severe cardiovascular disease.
Promoting Healthy Habits
Now in my fiftieth year as a pediatrician, it’s only in the past five years that I’ve seen such concern among pediatricians that heart disease is occurring at a younger and younger age. My wish is that parents would take this trend seriously and realize the importance of feeding their children, from birth on, what we at the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute simply call “the real food diet” – how eating whole foods is beneficial. Imagine what a valuable long-term gift of health you could give your children by simply feeding them real foods and helping them develop healthy eating habits in those first five years of life. Consider this not only a change in eating habits, but a change of heart!