Is your teenager headed for heart problems?

Most in the United States may be, based on a new report on diet, exercise and other healthy behaviors:

  • More than 80 percent of U.S. adolescents scored a failing grade in the healthy diet category, based on the seven cardiovascular health components defined in the American Heart Association’s 2020 impact goals.
  • Only 44 percent of girls and 67 percent of boys achieved ideal physical activity levels.
  • Only two-thirds had ideal body mass index (a ratio of height to weight) and one-third had total cholesterol levels in the intermediate or poor ranges.

The adolescents did get one good grade: the majority of boys and girls had never smoked a cigarette or didn’t try to smoke within the past 30 days of their interviews with researchers.

Healthy behaviors during adolescence help prevent heart disease as adults.


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