Alarmingly, fewer than four in ten (38 percent) correctly surmise that people should be concerned about living a heart-healthy lifestyle to prevent a future heart attack beginning in childhood, and continuing throughout every life stage.
While the old adage says "an apple a day will keep the doctor away," a new study on heart disease shows that a more comprehensive approach to being heart-healthy is key.
According to the study, even with the success of past heart disease awareness and education campaigns the trend toward reducing cardiovascular risk is now headed in a negative direction. The vast majority (92 percent) of Americans are still at risk, primarily because of the rise in obesity.
"This is a wake up call for parents and their children in particular," says Laura Hayman, a leading researcher on obesity and cardiovascular disease in children, adolescents, and families. "Some strides have been made; however, since more and more children are currently overweight, they are more likely at risk for obesity-related conditions later in life such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes."
Recent research has found that when children learn about heart-healthy eating habits, it can strongly influence their behavior to reduce heart disease risk later in life. Yet, according to the PCNA survey, less than one-third of Americans follow a diet that is healthy for their heart. Also, seven in ten (70 percent) would not want their kids to adopt their eating habits because they do not think they set a good example when it comes to food choices (26 percent) or some of the time they eat food that is not healthy (44 percent).
"We are at a critical juncture," explains Hayman. "It is imperative for parents to lead by example with an all encompassing heart-healthy lifestyle, making the necessary changes both in diet and physical exercise."
MEDICA.de; Source: Kellen Communications