MANILA — Prevention of hypertension or high blood pressure should start at home and initiated by parents.
In a health forum about hypertension conducted by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) on Tuesday, Dr. Deborah Ignacia David-Ona of St. Lukes and member of Philippine Hypertension Society said that parents should begin teaching the children in their very own home.
“It is in our home where we should begin implanting to our children to prevent the fate of developing hypertension especially if they are prone to it due to genetic factors,” said Dr. David-Ona in the health forum held at Annabel”s Restaurant in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
David-Ona cited that prevention should further be strengthened if one is at risk of developing hypertension which can be triggered by wrong lifestyle and influence from environment.
“Parents should help their children not to arrive at that fate of having hypertension such as stroke, heart attack and kidney problems,” she added.
She added that such can be done by teaching healthy lifestyle while the children are young such as giving the right kind of diet and physical activities for their children so that they will not develop obesity problems that could lead to hypertension.
“It is just a matter of discipline…And mother has a big role on that because she is the one who goes to grocery and purchase the foods that she will prepare for her children,” the doctor said.
She cited as an example herself when she said that as a mother she refuses to purchase “unhealthy foods” for her children such as junk foods.
Dr. Leilani Mercado-Asis, endocrinologist, internist and hypertension specialist, and vice president of PSH added that children often become obese because of the parents way of rewarding them.
“Sometimes the parents bring them to fast foods…so the result is they get fat and obese which is one factor in developing hypertension,” Dr. Mercado explained.
She said that internet can also help in terms of prevention of hypertension in the sense that it is easier now to access application like calorie counts, exercises or physical activities, that teaches about healthy lifestyles and prevention of hypertension.
However, Dr. Lynn Gomez, nephrologist, internist, and hypertension specialist and president of PSH said that while the internet access has an advantage, it also has disadvantage as well.
“Due to exposure to internet, children lifestyle becomes sedentary,” Dr. Gomez added as she added that it is noticeable that children nowadays seldom engages in physical activities which was being played many years ago that requires more physical movements.
“They no longer play “piko”, “chako” and the likes that were being played before. Most of them are busy in watching television or using their gadgets,” Gomez added.
She said that it is important to teach children how to take care of their health.
“We know that the youth is the hope of our nation. If we will take care of the health of our youth, we will be taking care of the health of the nation.
She said that there should be legislation on labeling of foods wherein the “good food” (good for the body) will be cheaper to purchase while the “bad ones” (bad for the health) will be sold at higher price.
“We have to be innovative,” she added that in her travel to Australia she had seen how the foods sold are labeled in a grocery.
She also said that as what she observed the bad foods are sold higher.
“What we want to emphasize here is the idea that why we should purchased an expensive food that is not good for our body or can have negative effects on our health,” she said.