More exercise beats less TV for growing healthier kids

April 27, 2013, MedPage Today

By Charlene Laino

When it comes to improving kids’ heart health, which is more important? Exercising more or sitting around less?

The answer, according to a study that tested youngsters in a real-world setting, is exercising more.

The researchers studied 536 white children ages 8-10 who had at least one obese biological parent. The goal was to examine the combined associations between time spent in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity and time spent in sedentary activities in relation to cardiometabolic risk factors. Continue reading

Heart healthy habits in childhood may prevent future disease

March 4, 2013, HealthDay

Teaching children heart healthy habits now can help protect them from heart disease when they’re adults, an expert says.

“The process of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries and is known to cause heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death, has been shown to begin in early childhood,” Dr. Zachary Stone, a primary-care doctor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a university news release. “It’s important to concentrate on healthy lifestyles in children to prevent adult cardiovascular disease.”

The three heart health areas to watch in children are diet, physical activity levels, and exposure to secondhand smoke. Continue reading