Valentín Fuster, MD, PhD
Implementing school-based programs aimed at teaching healthy cardiovascular health habits as early as preschool can achieve lasting lifestyle changes in children, according to a review published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Previous studies have found that unhealthy lifestyle habits such as a nutritionally poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and smoking, all of which contribute to cardiovascular disease risk, are prevalent among children and adolescents. Additional research has also found a relationship between poor cardiovascular health in childhood and poor cardiometabolic health in adults. “The SI! Program (Salud Integral – Comprehensive Health) was developed by the SHE-la Caixa Foundation in collaboration with Sesame Street and the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) as a multilevel and multicomponent school-based program for the promotion of cardiovascular health and achieving lasting lifestyle changes in children from preschool age. It was implemented in three countries from year 2009 onwards,” says principal investigator of the project, Valentín Fuster, MD, PhD, General Director at CNIC, and Director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York City.