December 5, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

The power of moms to help their children stay heart-healthy |

Meg Tilly (“The Big Chill”) opted out of the limelight while raising her children. As she told People magazine, she wanted to “make sure they had a hot breakfast every morning.” That protected her kids from the often-harmful glare of celebrity and long-distance parenting.

But moms like YOU can make an even greater difference in your children’s future. A study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology shows that grown children of moms who followed a truly heart-healthy lifestyle are free of cardiovascular disease for nine to 10 years longer than offspring whose moms had moderately or very unhealthy habits.

A child’s premature heart risk may start in utero from genetic factors or exposure to mom’s obesity, smoking, poor nutrition, etc. But even if you made mistakes while pregnant or have a familial risk for heart woes, healthy choices you make for yourself while your children are young translate into their improved heart health when they’re grown up.

Rate your lifestyle. How many of these goals have you achieved: not smoking; healthy diet; physically active; a normal body mass index; and healthy blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose levels? None to two — your grown offspring are most at risk for early heart disease.

Three to four puts your adult children at intermediate risk. Hit four or five? You’re what the researchers call ideal — and so are the chances for your children’s long-term heart health! So if you aren’t motivated to upgrade your lifestyle for your own well-being, do it for your growing children!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit

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