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"Harlem Study Fruitful in Teaching Children Healthy Habits" - Melanie Grayce West

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • New York, NY
  • (November 10, 2018)

Preschoolers who went through a four-month program focused on the body, physical movement and emotions were able to maintain healthier behaviors in the future, according to research conducted at 15 Head Start schools in Harlem. Half of the children in the study – a continuing project led by Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, physician in chief at The Mount Sinai Hospital – received no intervention initially, while the other half received 50 hours of health education, including lessons on how to take care of the body, the heart, healthy food choices and exploring mad, sad, and happy feelings. Researchers found the children who received the training scored higher on overall health knowledge and habits than the children who didn’t. Children between 3 and 5 years old are in the golden age, when they are very interested in their bodies and able to absorb important information, said Dr. Fuster. “This is the age where you store things in your brain very easily,” said Dr. Fuster, “and they come back later when you are an adult.”

— Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Professor, Medicine, Cardiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Mount Sinai Heart, Physician in Chief, Mount Sinai Hospital

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