NUTRITION: Childhood Habits May Portend Adult Ills
Eating and health habits that affect people later in life may be ingrained as early as elementary school, according to a new study. The report comes on the heels of research that suggests minority children have more risk factors for heart disease than their white counterparts. Today's issue of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, features a study of 679 public school children who were studied from age seven to 23. Beginning in 1977, University of Minnesota researchers periodically screened the children for weight, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels, and "found that body weight during childhood, and especially the rate at which the weight was gained, was a good indicator of whether an adult would exhibit risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes." Lead author Dr. Alan Sinaiko said, "The prevalence of overweight in youth is increasing. On the basis of the data from this study, it can be expected that there will be a steady increase in the number of at-risk individuals as today's children become adults" (Nagourney, New York Times, 3/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.