A new study has found that children are at risk for poor cardiovascular health. Photo: Getty

Is your child at risk of having poor heart health? A new study suggests that kids who indulge in low-nutrition food and have a high calorie intake are putting their cardiovascular health at risk. There are seven factors and behaviors that are used to determine if a child’s heart health is exemplary, according to study published in Circulation, a journal from the American Heart Association.

Children who are looking to remain in the best heart health should avoid using tobacco products, maintain a healthy diet, a healthy bodyweight, get at least 60 minutes of exercise and have healthy cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

The study found that children between the ages of 2 to 19 years old get the majority of their daily calories from simple carbohydrates like sugar filled desserts and beverages. There’s a better chance that children will stick to a healthy routine if proactive strategies for good heart health are continuously practiced from birth.

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Rather than addressing ideal cardiovascular health in adulthood, children should be encouraged to maintain the standards of good heart health that they are born with. Julia Steinberger — a researcher at the University of Minnesota was involved in the study — revealed that by engaging in these behaviors early in life, it can help with maintaining cardiovascular health throughout the lifespan.

Medical News Daily reported that the American Heart Association (AHA) has set a goal from now through 2020. The goal is to focus on cardiovascular health promotion and disease reduction in both adults and kids. However, the loss of cardiovascular health is enhanced during childhood due to the combination of weight gain and obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that obesity has become common between ages 2 to 19 years old. U.S. data has confirmed that while 17 percent of that age range is obese, an additional 15 percent is overweight.

Previous data from the 2007-2008, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that children in the U.S. were not meeting most of the AHA's ideal cardiovascular health guidelines. By 2020, the AHA is aiming to increase cardiovascular health by 20 percent.