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Medical University Of South Carolina Teaches Kids To Eat 'Heart Healthy'

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The Medical University Of South Carolina is promoting a health program which teaches kids food portion control, how to pick healthier food options and how to get active.

According to WCSC, for the last eight months, 9-year-old twins Lee-Anna and Hudson Singer have been taking advantage of this amazing program, encouraging them to change their eating habits for the better. Hudson admits that he had to stop eating all his favourite foods like pizza, cheeseburgers and all the unhealthy stuff.

Those changes are thanks to the guidance the kids and their parents are getting from the Heart Health Program MUSC offers. As per its website, the Heart Health Program is both the pediatric weight management program of MUSC Children's Health and the preventive cardiology service of the Children's Heart Center. As a family-centered and lifestyle-oriented program, Heart Health is appropriate for any child or adolescent who has abnormal weight gain and/or associated cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or pre-diabetes.

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“It’s a program for any child above the eighty fifth percentile for their Body Mass Index or crossing percentiles,” says Registered MUSC Dietician Janet Carter, who adds that the hope is to catch kids while they’re still young. The program teaches kids food portion control, picking healthier food options eating food with less sugar and getting active.

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“We have them set their own health goals," she said."They decide, so they can take ownership of their health and wellness."

Gradually, the twins seem to be responding to what they’re learning too-- cutting back on fried food, getting outside more and eating food with less sugar.  “I don’t use as much ketchup because it has a lot of sugar,” Lee-Anna said. Anassa, their mother, says the twins were initially gaining at least 30 pounds a year. Things have changed now as their weight is catching up with their height.

“It rubs off on everybody and everybody is accountable for each other," Singer said."And if someone has eaten too much we say,'Ok you may have had enough.'"

According to Carter, kids in the program are usually referred by their pediatrician. The Heart Healthy Program is for ages two to eleven and is usually covered by insurance.

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