Heart healthy lifestyles in preschool have long term benefits, as research suggests that even age 3 is never too early for learning healthy eating habits.
“There is a need for a complete change in the timing of when we deliver care,” said senior study author Dr. Valentin Fuster, a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
“Until now, the clinical community has focused on cardiovascular disease, which typically manifests in the later stages of life. Now, we need to focus our care in the opposite stage of life — we need start promoting health at the earliest years, as early as 3 to 5 years old, in order to prevent cardiovascular disease,” Fuster said.
More than 2,000 children in Madrid between the ages of 3 and 5 participated in the long term study. Researchers presented a heart healthy program to the children, focusing on diet, exercise, emotions, and understanding their bodies. The children were studied for three years.