Health experts say obese kids are much more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease.

A new study suggests eating patterns that could help kids get on a healthier track.

If you think that what kids put in their bodies now won’t matter years from now, think again.

“It’s not generally know that cardiovascular disease, things like heart attacks and strokes have their beginnings in very early childhood.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic enrolled in 96 pairs of parents and their kids in a 52-week study to see if one of three healthy eating plans could lower their cardiovascular risk.

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In one case, the kids and one parent were assigned to eat foods from a plant-based diet: fruit, vegetables and healthy proteins, like legumes, beans, chickpeas and lentils. The American Heart Association Diet: Fruits, vegetables, dairy and lean meats. The Mediterranean Diet, which is similar to the Heart Association diet, but it emphasizes fish and nuts, and olive oil.

The researchers used fasting blood tests to measure the biomarkers of cardiovascular risk and found all three eating plans were effective.

“Things like blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, blood pressure went down total cholesterol, decreased, LDL cholesterol. The bad cholesterol went down.” said Dr. Michael Macknin.

Researchers say that shows even small changes to eating habits make a difference.

“Pick a diet that you think you can stick with and just do the best you can. You don’t have to be perfect to make really wonderful changes,” Dr. Macknin said.