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A report dictates guidelines for schools to reduce childhood cardiovascular risk

According to estimates of the Spanish Population 2018 Nutrition Study (ENPE Study), based on the criteria of the IOTF-2000 (International Obesity Task Force), in Spain one 23.8% of the child and juvenile population is overweight and 10.3% obese. To curb these data and the associated risk factors – arterial hypertension, high cholesterol and metabolic diseases, among others – to these pathologies, the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC) and the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC) have presented the report Cardiovascular risk from infancy.

This document, made by specialists in cardiology, nutrition and sport, includes Seven proposals to improve health and reduce childhood cardiovascular risk in Spain to avoid the appearance of pathologies in adulthood, after analyzing the school environment and eating habits and sports. "Starting from this context, and after an analysis of the current situation, the experts have agreed on the need to promote a series of measures that help the cardiovascular protection of minors Spaniards, "he explained Manuel Anguita, president of the SEC.

Studies in the last decades point to "greater childhood obesity, higher prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hypertension in adulthood. In Spain, the tendency for 15 or 20 years ago indicated a reduction in stomach infections. As of the promulgation of the Anti-Tobacco Law, the reduction was increased. However, in recent years you are seeing one Increased number of infections for infarct in middle-aged people. It is difficult to establish a causal relationship but it is certainly influencing, "said Anguita. However, the forecasts in children are that the current situation will increase the presence of cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

Exercise against childhood cardiovascular risk

As explained Carlos Macaya, president of the FEC, in Diario Médico, the healthy habits related to cardiovascular disease include the smoking, eating and exercise; The report focuses on the latter two.

To Control the increase in the prevalence and incidence of overweight and obesityFrom the SEC and the FEC, special emphasis is placed on the need for reduce energy input of the feeding and in the realization of physical exercise to achieve an energy balance. That is why the issued recommendations go through to promote the exercise in the school setting, both in lecture hours with the proposal to increase physical activity in one hour daily, following the recommendations of the World Health Organization, which advises to make a daily time of exercise between 5 and 17 years. "You have to do the most attractive exercise, encourage different sports varieties. It would also be advisable to facilitate access to sports practice by opening the sports areas of schools, "explained Macaya.

Feeding to curb childhood cardiovascular risk

In the nutritional aspect it would be necessary Regular, improve and control catering The children that eat in it receive school dining room. "Ideally, families would be in charge of eating, both that the food they bring home is healthy and that the Dining rooms were managed by parent associations and students, "Anguita said.

Javier Aranceta, chair of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC), member of the Council of Experts of the Nutrition area of ​​the FEC, explained in the presentation of the information, the measures relating to food. One of the proposals focuses on Improve the management and quality of food supply and reduce the waste of food, following the criteria of environmental sustainability in the organization of school menus.

On the other hand, although the available information shows that the food supply in school dining rooms has evolved positively, there are still many aspects to improve from a nutrition point of view. "He The current model has an impact on the nutritional quality of the food served in the school canteens, with one Low presence of vegetables below what is desirable, excess food from the group of meats and derivatives and precooked foods that require their preparation in frying, "he said Ignacio Ferreira, coordinator of the report, member of the Executive Committee of the SEC and chief editor of the Spanish Journal of Cardiology.

Also, according to Macaya, it is important to sensitize the benefits of mid-morning snack. "You have to try to prepare them at home, while the School vendings should be banned or just dispense fruit and water and not processed foods or sugary beverages, "said Macaya. Ideally, the snack consisted of a piece of fruit, but if the child needed to eat something else, he could bet on the sandwich or milk. "Whenever industrial pastries, juices or sugary drinks are avoided," Anguita added.

Awareness of families

Although the councils go mainly to the schools, Macaya and Anguita have drawn attention to the need to also raise awareness among families about the importance of reducing the risk of cardiovascular infants with the help of healthy eating and exercise. In this regard, Anguita has emphasized the importance of collaboration between the family environment and the school. "We believe that focusing on these measures in schools can help make children become educators of their own families".

The onset of these cardiovascular risk factors is ongoing so cardiovascular events will surely be advanced. Not only do they affect cardiovascular diseases but it is transversal, it will affect oncology, locomotor and metabolic diseases.

The report will be presented to the health authorities, both state and the Autonomous Communities, although the initiative will begin to offer schools a seal of quality after auditing if the recommendations of feeding and promotion of the exercise in the school field are fulfilled.

Seven proposals to improve children's cardiovascular risk

1 Boost the exercise Implementing an hour more of daily physical activity in the initial stages of education

2 Promote an "active recreation", which promotes the physical activity of schoolchildren, under the supervision of teachers.

3. Expand the offer of physical activities in schools (promote the multi-port environment).

4 Transfer of sports facilities of the educational centers during the weekends and holidays for sports activities of the students.

5. Awareness of the benefits of the Homemade elaboration of mid-morning snacks, favoring hydration with natural water and preventing them dispensing machines of food in schools.

6. Improve the protocols, management and economic allocation of menus in school dining rooms.

7 Quality seal

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