Childhood habits predict heart disease risk
Findings by the Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program about the health habits of middle school children earned a Best Poster Award at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in Chicago.
Only the best abstracts of more than 5,000 abstract submissions are selected for presentation.
The Best Poster Award is given to the highest scoring abstracts presented as flat boards at the Annual Scientific Session & Expo.
Researchers reported sixth graders with four or more unhealthy habits were more likely to be overweight or obese and have cardiovascular disease risk factors such as low levels of good cholesterol known as HDL, compared to students with 0 to one unhealthy habit.
Spending two or more hours a day in front of a TV, playing video games and/or on the computer, getting less than 30 minutes of vigorous or moderate exercise a day, consuming fatty/sugary foods and drinking sugary beverages were considered unhealthy habits.
Students with four or more unhealthy habits also showed signs of increased LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries.
Poster contributors included Rosa de Visser, M.Sc., Rachel Sylvester, Qingmei Jiang, Eva Kline-Rogers, R.N., Jean DuRussel-Weston, Kim A. Eagle, M.D., and Elizabeth A. Jackson, M.D.
Data was collected about 2,667 students in Project Healthy Schools, a program that provides interactive lessons to get heart smart coupled with healthier food and beverage options at school cafeterias and vending machines. In PHS, 32.1 percent of students had four or more unhealthy habits.
Authors suggest wellness programs may target unhealthy habits and reduce heart disease risk early on.