We have all heard that what we do to our bodies when we are young will affect us when we are older. This is true and now we can add that what we put into our bodies today will affect our bodies when we are older.

A Study to prove it

A study was conducted on 2,185 girls. The girls were between nine and ten when they entered the study, and the researchers followed their health records, and their dietary data for a period of ten years.

The girls were from all different racial backgrounds and they were from all different social classes. Some of the girls were told to monitor their sodium intake because sodium intake is thought to affect blood pressure, and some girls were told to eat diets high in potassium.

Surprising results

The results showed the researchers that the amount of potassium a person ingests when they are in their pre-adolescent to mid-adolescent years may play a huge role in determining their risk of high blood pressure levels later in life.

The girls who ate the highest amounts of potassium during these years of their lives had the lowest blood pressure levels later in life.

The sodium intake affected blood pressure levels quickly, but it did not seem to have long term effects on the girls.

Surprising results

High blood pressure could be reduced or eliminated for many people if the diets of teens were to include higher levels of potassium. Doctors and dieticians need to stress to people that increasing the potassium intake of young adolescents could have a lasting impact.

African Americans might benefit the most

High blood pressure among African American women causes more complications each year than high blood pressure among any other race of women. If African American teens were to change their dietary habits, then the number of African American women who suffer from high blood pressure, and heart disease could be significantly reduced.

High Blood Pressure concerns

People who have high blood pressure are more likely to have strokes and heart attacks than people who do not have high blood pressure. By reducing the number of people who have high blood pressure in the world, we could reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes in the world.

What doctors can do

Medical professionals, and school administrators can get together and start to include this information in the health education that is given to young people. If children that are nine to ten years old begin to hear that high potassium diets are a key to being healthier, and kids continue to hear this information throughout their adolescent years then they may begin to make the dietary changes on their own.

Schools can increase the amount of potassium that is provided in school lunches to start helping children make the choice to be healthier today and tomorrow.