Introducing lifestyle interventions in preschool lowers heart disease risk

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According to a review released today, achieving lasting lifestyle changes for children by implementing a school-based program aimed at teaching healthy cardiovascular health habits early in preschool. I can do it. Journal of American College of Cardiology..

Previous studies have shown that nutritionally poor diets, sedentary lifestyles, and unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking are the cause. Risk of cardiovascular diseaseIs prevalent among Children And youth.Additional studies have also found a relationship between poor cardiovascular health Poor cardiovascular metabolism in childhood and adulthood.

The SI! Program (Salud Integral—Comprehensive Health) was developed as a multi-level and multi-component school base. program To promote cardiovascular health and achieve sustainability Lifestyle changes Children from preschool age. It has been implemented in three countries since 2009. “

School environment The best area to introduce Lifestyle interventionBecause children spend a lot of time there, “said Rodrigo Fernandez-Zimenez, Doctor of Medicine, Group Leader and Study Author of Cardiovascular Health and Imaging Labs at CNIC. A child’s life when improvements can be made to improve long-term cardiovascular health. Our review and previous studies suggest that 4-5 years of age is the most preferred time to initiate a school-based intervention focused on healthy habits. “

The author has reviewed the results of SI for 10 years! A program involving more than 3,800 children aged 3-5 from 50 schools in Colombia, Spain and the United States assesses how knowledge, attitudes and habits have changed towards a healthy lifestyle. I did. Those who received the program showed a significant increase in knowledge, attitudes and habits after implementing a four-month health promotion program.

To assess the success of the program, the assessment tools have been adapted to the maturity of the child. The questionnaire included a brief photo and was modified to suit the socio-cultural background of each country, using local food names and photos, photos of local playgrounds, and images reflecting ethnic diversity. .. We found that children who received 75% or more of the program had significant changes from baseline in their overall knowledge, attitudes, and habits, compared to children who received less than 50% of the program.

To review the lessons learned from SI! The program, the author, disseminates (communicate information about the program to the school), recruits (school decisions to try the program), conducts (effectively implements health interventions), and evaluates (how well the program has achieved its goals). I paid attention to (evaluate). ) And institutionalization (long-term incorporation of the program).

“Most preschool interventions Physical activity And diet. SI! The program breaks down cardiovascular health into four components. Through the first two factors, children learn that a balanced diet and a physically active life are directly related to a healthy heart. Next, they learn about behavioral mechanisms against substance abuse (mainly smoking) and emotional management aimed at instilling dietary decisions in later years. Finally, children will be taught how the human body functions and is affected by behavior and lifestyle, “said Gloria Santos-Beneit, Science Coordinator and Lead Author of the SHE-la Caixa Foundation. The doctor says.

SI! To accommodate the learning style of preschoolers! The program uses the heart-shaped mascot “Cardio” to teach recommended healthy behaviors, and Dr. Raster, a mappet based on Sesame Street character Dr. Huster, introduces messages and activities. I told you. Other resources include video segments and printed matter (colorful storybooks, interactive board games, flashcards, teacher’s guides). The activities and messages used are coordinated based on the country in which the program was implemented and are provided at food-related cultural health beliefs or practices, facilities assigned to physical activity, transportation methods to schools, and schools. With food, popular songs or stories in mind. , And local daily rituals and celebrations.

Issues to consider when implementing the program include: Family involvement, Family socio-economic status, time spent on the program, and long-term compliance strategies.

“Further research is needed to identify a particular one. Socio-economic status Factors that affect a child’s health and the effectiveness of long-term intervention, and issues of sustainability or the need for re-intervention. ” SI! The program has expanded to five New York City provinces through child health and socio-economics. Implication (CHSEI) project. “The diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds of the city of New York, at both the family and autonomous district levels, which socio-economic factors can ultimately affect children in the effectiveness of interventions. And it offers a unique opportunity to explore what they can be. Worked to reduce the gap in health inequality. ”


The key to lifelong heart health is childhood intervention


For more information:
Gloria Santos-Beneit et al, Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Preschool Interventions for Health Promotion: JACC’s State-of-the-art Review, Journal of American College of Cardiology (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jacc.2021.10.046

Quote: Introducing preschool lifestyle interventions reduce the risk of heart disease (January 17, 2022).

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