People aren’t getting kids to follow heart-healthy eating recommendations as well as they should, and it may be causing blood pressures to increase in children and teens.

A study in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension reports that the risk of being affected by high blood pressure rose 27 percent in a thirteen-year period among children and teens. Also, African American children were still more likely to have elevated blood pressure than other ethnic groups.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney failure.

Experts suggest increased weight, salt intake, and waist size may be behind the trend. It’s important to note that while blood pressure did increase, the kids in this study could not be labeled as having high blood pressure. They would need three high readings to receive a diagnosis.

To combat the trend, children, teens and adults should practice healthy eating habits, like eating more fruits and vegetables, and less fat and sodium in order to reduce the likelihood of developing high blood pressure.


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