Vegan diets reduce the risk of heart disease in obese children, according to a study published online in the Journal of Pediatrics. Researchers led by Michael Macknin, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic compared a plant-based diet with an American Heart Association diet in 28 overweight children along with one parent of each child. Those who followed the plant-based diet excluded added fat and animal products and focused on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Participants in this group lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improved their weight, and lowered their sensitivity to two biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. Previous research shows that vegan diets can reverse heart disease in adults, and that obesity in children puts them at risk for heart disease later in life.
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