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 Understanding Vascular Health May Help Thwart Childhood Obesity

August 15, 2011    Contact: Sue Crosson-Knutson   312-334-2311

CHICAGO - Childhood obesity affects 17 percent or 12.5 million children between the ages of two and 19 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An understanding of vascular health at an early age may help prevent obesity in children and adults.
“Students between the ages of five and 12 can benefit from learning how blood travels through their bodies and affects their health,” said Steven Leers, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “Through fun activities, this free, downloadable Vascular Health Activity Book (posted on: provides young people with a better understanding of the importance of caring for their bodies today and in the future.”
The 14-page Vascular Health Activity Book features a crossword puzzle, word search, maze, word scramble, penny board game, tic-tac-toe game, and coloring pages for school-age children.
“Parents, teachers, and youth group leaders are invited to use this tool to teach healthy habits to young people,” said Dr. Leers.
The positive messages within the colorful activity book include:
• Bodies need good food
• Exercise is important
• Heart disease and smoking are related.
The health risks of childhood obesity include:
• High blood pressure and high cholesterol which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
• Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.
• Breathing problems such as sleep apnea and asthma.
• Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort.
• Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn).
• Social and psychological problems such as discrimination and poor self-esteem.
Obese children are more likely to become obese adults. Adult obesity is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
For information about maintaining good vascular health and avoiding obesity, visit®. 
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,686 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at®. Follow SVS on Facebook and Twitter.

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