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!
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.