American teens getting an early start on heart disease – latimes.com

The proportion of American adolescents who exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and are free of risk factors for future heart disease is “alarmingly low,” says a major new survey of teen health. The comprehensive five-year assessment of teens’ health status warns that the “disconcertingly high” rate of poor health habits among the nation’s youth “may contribute to unacceptably high rates of adult-onset cardiovascular disease” as this cohort matures into adulthood.

The new survey, published Monday in the American Heart Assn.’s journal Circulation, culled data on teens from a yearly gauge of the nation’s health called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). From a representative sample of American adolescents–4,673 kids between the ages of 12 and 19–NHANES captured each subject’s body-mass index, dietary intake details, physical activity levels, smoking behavior, blood pressure, total cholesterol and fasting blood glucose levels. Each subject was assigned a cardiovascular health index number…

via American teens getting an early start on heart disease – latimes.com.

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