Engaging in more outdoor activities and improving the diet plan for children has always been a goal of every parent. It not just to keep them active, but to help cut the death toll of children from cardiovascular diseases.
A project in Sao Paulo, Brazil, focuses on sports and diet. This project includes innovative techniques in feeding the kids and encouraging them to join exercise routines without making the children feel they are forced to do it.
"Atherosclerosis or the clogging of the arteries usually begins during childhood. A sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet are usually the two contributing factors that lead to worse cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Karine Turke, lead author of the ABC Medical School.
"The exposure to this lifestyle practice increases a person's risk to strokes and heart attacks, so prevention of such disease should start from childhood," Turke said. However, the results of the study reveal that eating processed foods and spending more time sitting and playing with gadgets have become the norm these days.
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the world's killer diseases, causing more than 15 million deaths each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report that shows an estimated number of obese or overweight infants and young children have significantly increased-from 32 million in the 1990s to 41 million in 2016. Roughly 3.2 million deaths have been recorded each year due to the lack of physical activities.
Proper cardiovascular education is highly important to address the seven risks factors. Knowledge of how they could reduce these risks will help save lives. The seven factors include obesity, physical inactivity, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking cigarette and other drugs, and stress. Healthy eating and regular physical activity are considered as two protective factors that lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Schools are encouraged to promote healthy eating habits and regular exercise. The inputs during the cardiovascular caravan all over the country will be provided for by healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and psychologists.
"Most kids these days engage in physical activities below the recommended levels by the WHO. Modern lifestyle promotes less physical contact and more digital interaction among users of a particular interface," Turke said.
The program encourages parents to look into this sedentary lifestyle to hopefully make the kids move more. Advocating healthy diet is where it all begins. Proper exercise daily is simply an add-on.