Health Watch 10 Report, August 23rd - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Health Watch 10 Report, August 23rd

"You can buy pills that have vegetables and you can buy pills that have fruit in them, but there's really not an alternative for the real thing," says dieticianTim Cunningham "You can buy pills that have vegetables and you can buy pills that have fruit in them, but there's really not an alternative for the real thing," says dieticianTim Cunningham

Your kids could be at risk for long term health damage from an illness that was thought to mainly affect adults.  An estimated 1.5 million children are suffering from high blood pressure, something parents need to get control of before it affects their long term health. 

Children as young as three are now being diagnosed with hypertension, meaning their blood pressure is continually higher than it's suppose to be.  Experts say the problem is our fault for giving in to convenience.

Licensed dietitian Tim Cummingham says, "We've gotten away with cooking from home, preparing meals at home; we've gotten into buying convenience foods, which are loaded with sodium, nitrates and different types of preservatives.  Those are some of the things we know of that contribute to high blood pressure."

Cunningham says on average kids need more fruits and vegetables in their diet.  Even though they may not be what kids want, it's the best thing for them.

"You can buy pills that have vegetables and you can buy pills that have fruit in them, but there's really not an alternative for the real thing," Cunningham says.

Experts recommend cutting out salt and exercising more, and it's also important to get annual check ups because there are no physical signs children are dealing with hypertension, but a simple blood pressure test can save their lives.

Dr. Ben chavez says, "Definitely this is a wake a up call for myself and for other physicians and health care providers to be keying in on this a lot more.  We have to be looking for it younger and treat it at a younger age."

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