WASHINGTON, DC (February 2, 2010) Pamphlets detailing the warning signs associated with heart disease may soon end up in an unexpected location: your child's pediatrician's office. According to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five American teens has at least one risk factor for developing heart disease in adulthood.
With heart health front-and-center this month in honor of American Heart Month, most media coverage will focus on at-risk adults. But that's a mistake according to Sarah Wally, a dietitian with the National Association for Margarine Manufacturers.
"Although heart disease is typically diagnosed in adulthood, its roots often begin in childhood," says Wally. "Heart disease is the result of a lifelong process and intervention strategies to reduce risk should begin as early as possible."
The new CDC report, released earlier this year, highlights the need to intervene early. The report reveals that twenty percent of children and teens in the U.S. have an abnormal lipid profile a sign of high triglycerides, low levels of good cholesterol or high levels of bad cholesterol and a strong marker for future heart disease risk.
Small changes in daily habits are the key to helping young Americans modify their risk of heart disease, according to Wally. "Incremental changes in diet and exercise habits are much more effective and successful over the long term," she says. "Something as simple as swapping from butter to a soft spread margarine can have a lasting impact in improving the nutritional quality of your diet."
An easy substitution like using soft spread margarines (also known as buttery spreads) instead of butter over a week's time can cut an entire day's worth of saturated fat, not to mention up to 40 calories per serving, Wally says. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more than anything e
|Contact: Dan Menaged|