According to a 2007-2008 study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, about 91% of kids have poor diets. This leads to more kids struggling with heart health. It’s an issue that needs to be fixed beginning in the home.
Despite efforts from various organizations like the NFL, and even Michelle Obama, kids still are not eating healthy enough or getting the recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day.
Diet is the key factor contributing to children’s poor cardiovascular health, says the study’s lead author, Julia Steinberger. She further reported that “children are eating high-calorie, low_nutrition foods and not eating enough healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and other foods strongly associated with good heart health and a healthy body weight.”
It’s not only kids struggling with heart health, but teens as well. The report showed that an average of 24% of 12 to 19-year-olds are obese. Additionally, roughly 10% of children 2-5 years old are also obese.
Furthermore, the report by the AHA showed that only about 33% of girls ages 6-11 got at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, while boys in the same age group got 50%. Only about 10% of teens ranging in age from 16-19 years old receive 60 minutes of daily exercise.
With the abounding technology, video games, and social media platforms, many teens and children do not want to go outside and experience playtime. Rather, they would stay inside, watch the latest trendy show, or stay on their phone.
Additionally, children and teenagers rely on their parents for food, both inside and generally outside the home. If parents keep unhealthy snacks and foods in the house, those are what their kids will eat.
Keeping the kitchen stocked with fruits, veggies, and minimally processed fish and chicken will help limit their choices to healthier options. Doing so will keep weight regular and their hearts healthy.
Kids struggling with heart health cannot take care of their problem on their own. They need help from parents and outside sources to encourage them to go outside, exercise and eat healthily.