Back to School, Back to Heart Health
Dr. Valentin Fuster advises parents how to protect children’s hearts from obesity.
Childhood obesity is a national health care crisis. More than one-third of children and teens are overweight or obese. Plus, obese children are more likely to become obese adults.
Obesity is an especially dangerous condition in youths because it can damage a young healthy heart for a lifetime. Research shows that 70 percent of obese children and teens already have at least one risk factor for heart disease — the number one killer of adult Americans.
These early risk factors for heart disease caused by obesity can include the development of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In addition to heart disease, obesity may cause children to develop pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, strain their bones and joints, and lead to low self-esteem.
World-renowned cardiologist, Valentin Fuster, MD, PHD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, has an extreme interest in striking out the epidemic of obesity and its impact on cardiovascular health, especially to protect the world’s tiniest hearts in our children.
To prevent or reduce childhood obesity Mount Sinai’s Dr. Fuster recommends parents:
- Start obesity prevention early when your child is 3-5 years old.
- Ensure healthy eating habits and exercise is part of child’s daily routine.
Provide Good Nutrition
- Introduce daily healthy food and snack options: colorful fruits, vegetables, and water.
- Avoid giving children access to food with excessive fat, sugar, and salt.
- Limit soft drinks and fast food consumption.
Reduce Sedentary Lifestyle
- Play with your child to encourage their physical activity.
- Encourage daily aerobic activities such as walking, bicycling, skating, and swimming.
- Limit child’s television watching and playing on computer.
About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Established in 1968, the Icahn School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States, with more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes. It ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. The Mount Sinai Hospital is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 25 hospitals in 7 specialties based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."