In 2006, Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s principal investigator and Director of Mount Sinai Heart at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, to develop this campaign to promote cardiovascular health education in the developing countries. Colombia was selected as the pilot.
“Cardiovascular health promotion should be started as early as possible and be integrated into all aspects of a child’s life, including family and school,” said Jaime Cespedes, M.D., co-author of the Promotion of Cardiovascular Health in Preschool Children study and director of the Pediatric Hospital at the Cardioinfantil Foundation Institute of Cardiology in Bogotá.
In a five-month school based intervention, Sesame Street characters introduced heart-healthy ideas and actions to three- to five-year-olds and their parents in 14 preschools in underprivileged neighborhoods in Bogotá. Topics included:
Three years after the intervention, researchers retested 598 children and 475 parents:
“As a result of our successful pilot intervention in Colombia, the program has also been implemented in Spain, where we have expanded our reach to 20,000 more children,” Fuster said. “Additional countries are now joining in the implementation of this vital childhood intervention allowing for increased education about the benefits of a heart-healthy lifestyle to better protect our world’s tiniest hearts.”
In addition, Colombia researchers are developing an intervention targeted at children in rural preschools and another aimed at those in the elementary grades.
Other co-authors are German Dario Briceño, M.D., M.Sc.; Michael E. Farkouh, M.D., M.Sc.; Rajesh Vedanthan, M.D., M.P.H.; Jorge Baxter, M.A.; Martha Leal, M.D., M.Sc.; Paolo Boffetta, M.D., Ph.D.; Marilyn Hunn B.S., and Rodolfo Dennis, M.D., M.Sc., Disclosures
The Santo Domingo Foundation funded the study.
Visit Heart.org/HealthierKids for more about having a healthy home and healthy kids.
Photos available on the right column of this link: http://newsroom.heart.org/news/colombian-preschoolers-learn-heart-healthy-lessons-with-sesame-street?preview=abe2efc903aad63ee9ac0635f0a54fe0
For more news from AHA Scientific Sessions 2013, follow @HeartNews #AHA13 on Twitter.
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
Note: Actual presentation is 9 a.m. CT/10 a.m. ET Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 in Ballrooms C1 & C2.