Chapter 7

Taking a Family Approach to Preventing Heart Disease

In This Chapter

arrow Starting your children off right for lifelong health

arrow Encouraging heart-healthy eating and activity for the whole family

arrow Supporting your spouse or partner in achieving heart health

arrow Providing care and support for older family members

Home is where the heart is. That familiar sentiment also sets up another insight: Home is where heart health starts. Practices and habits that children develop early in life are the ones that they typically continue to follow in adult life. Research has long shown that the first manifestations of adult atherosclerosis often start in childhood. By the same token, heart-healthy habits learned in childhood can lead to a lifetime of reduced risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. As parents, then, you can do a lot to set your children on the path to lifelong health not only by the healthy behaviors you help them develop but also by the way you model those behaviors in your own lives.

In an ideal world, perfectly healthy parents would raise perfectly healthy children. ...

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