Making Positive Health Changes In Obese/Overweight Children With Hypertension

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Abstract

Well-child visits can be ideal times for health education of children, parents, and caregivers. A trusting relationship with both children and their parents is the foundation for acceptance of any changes in health behaviors. Children grow rapidly, and poor health conditions during this time could be unfavorable or detrimental to their long-term wellbeing. Clinicians play pivotal roles in helping children understand the importance of working toward healthier lifestyles and preventing hypertension and obesity. Hypertension in obese and overweight children continues to increase, but these two conditions are preventable and can also be reversible if managed early. Data from four studies reviewed here indicate that diet and exercise can help reduce the incidence of hypertension in overweight/obese children. Primary care providers can incorporate specifically pointed physical activity and dietary change education into their daily practices, with attention directed toward helping children with hypertension to decrease their blood pressure for life.

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