Protect Teens from Heart Disease: Get Better Cycling Infrastructure

NYC Bicycle Commuters, W. 90th St. @ West End Ave.

1 in 5 teens at risk for heart disease: study

One in five adolescents aged 14 to 15 now has high blood pressure or high cholesterol or both and that could be putting them on the fast track to heart disease, new research shows.

“This study is further evidence of an accelerating decline in the heart health of Canada’s teens,” said Brian McCrindle, a cardiologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

“Children just shouldn’t have these problems.”

Dr. McCrindle said the initiative has provided valuable data as well as a good learning opportunity for the students.

“But education is never enough. It does not, in itself, lead to behaviour change,” he said.

Rather, students and their parents need to have the ability to put what they learn into action and that requires community programs that make sports accessible, changes in the city layouts so biking is safe and easy, and policy changes such as reducing salt in processed foods.


Photo via Flickr