Cardiovascular Health Promotion in Children Challenges and Opportunities for 2020 and Beyond

Published: August 11, 2016

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  • This statement emphasizes the 7 fundamental principles that define CV health in children for the clinical or research setting – ideal metrics for diet, physical activity, tobacco use, body weight, blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol. The principles detailed in the statement reflect the AHA’s new dynamic and proactive goal to promote CV health from birth through childhood to young adulthood and beyond.
  • Of the 7 health factors and behaviors that contribute to cardiovascular health, substantially more U.S. children achieve ideal scores for blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol than for tobacco exposure, healthy body weight, physical activity and healthy diet. Continued and improved surveillance will help track progress towards population-wide cardiovascular health goals.
  • Most children start out their lives with ideal cardiovascular health metrics, but much of ideal health is lost during childhood and adolescence as children develop unhealthy eating and physical activity habits.