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Heart disease

Teens may be at Risk for Premature Heart Disease

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 by: Brett Brown
Tags: heart disease, teens, health news

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(NewsTarget) Let`s face it, with the rise of fast food restaurants, a grab and go mentality, and a sedimentary lifestyle, our country is starting to pack on more and more weight. The more obese our nation becomes the more common heart disease also becomes. According to a recently finished study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, our children may now be at risk for premature heart disease due to adolescent obesity.

The Study
According to the study, one in five teenagers now has unhealthy cholesterol levels which may put him/her at risk for premature heart disease. They found the more obese the teens were, the higher their cholesterol levels were.

The study was conducted on 3,125 teens that was collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2006. Over 20% of the teens aged 12 to 19 years had unhealthy cholesterol levels.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is now suggesting that over a third of the teenage population would be eligible for screening cholesterol levels based on their level of obesity.

Healthy Cholesterol Levels
If we are going to fix this problem, the first thing we need to know is what a healthy cholesterol level is. According to the Mayo Clinic, a desirable total cholesterol level would be below 200 mg/dL. They also suggest that optimal LDL cholesterol levels should be below 100 mg/dL, and that optimal HDL cholesterol should be 60 mg/dL or higher. It is also desirable for our triglyceride count to be below 150 mg/dL.

The Culprit
100 years ago unhealthy cholesterol levels and obesity were not as much of a problem as they are today. So what has changed? Lifestyle! Everything from how we commute to work and the type of work we do, to what we eat and how we spend our leisure time. All of these aspects of life have led us to a more sedimentary lifestyle. On top of that the American diet is now loaded with fats and high in carbohydrates. We are also lacking in living nutrition from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Modern teenagers have also changed. A majority of a teen's lifestyle used to be spent outside either in work or leisure. Now it is not uncommon with television and video games to find a majority of teenagers spending their leisure time inside. Television and video games are not the problem though, it is the mindset of those who spend the majority of their lives in front of them.

How To Lower Cholesterol Levels
If your teen is at risk, here are some quick tips to lower their cholesterol levels:
1) Regular exercise at least three days a week
2) Reduce stress levels to lower blood pressure
3) Avoid red meat which is high in cholesterol
4) Consume foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids
5) Consume unrefined coconut oil to raise your HDL levels
6) Consume more fiber such as apples and celery

Studies like this can often times be frightening, but that is no longer necessary when we know how to deal with the situation. Our children don`t have to be at risk of premature heart disease so long as we are able to teach them how to live!

Resources

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60K54I...

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml...

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol...

http://www.naturalnews.com/025715_blood_heal...

About the author

Brett Brown is a contributing journalist with a strong desire to help others receive factual information in the health industry.
He also writes for and updates his own blog on a regular basis which can be found at: http://rawhealthforce.blogspot.com
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