Virginia Beach teens get a lesson in matters of the heart

Dr. Robert Lancey, Medical Director of Bon Secours Heart and Vascular Institute, teaches students in Virginia Beach about heart health.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) —  No one thinks about getting heart disease in the 7th grade.

Unless they were in class at Plaza Middle School in Virginia Beach on Wednesday.

A group of kids got a real life lesson in how the choices they make today can affect their health in the future.

Dr. Robert Lancey, Medical Director of Bon Secours Heart and Vascular Institute, showed them what’s really inside things like cigarettes and Mountain Dew.

He also illustrated how companies can trick you with advertising.

He got them off their feet to show them how exercise sffects heart rate, and then showed videos of real life hearts with blockages.

“The video, the open heart surgery is a real eye grabber, it really gets them interested and when you have kids attention captured like that, it’s a great time to give them stuff that can help them in life,” Dr. Lancey told 10 On Your Side.

He started the program in New York in 2004. When he moved here he updated and adapted it for Hampton Roads, where more than 30 percent of adults and 15 percent of children are obese, increasing the risk for heart disease.

“We’re trying to reach everybody I think this is how we’re going to cure heart disease, we’re not going to cure it with heart surgery or putting in stents, we’re going to cure it by having people live healthier lives” Dr. Lancey said.

The totally free program has reached over a thousand Hampton Roads students over the last four years. It’s booked for this school year but you can schedule for next year. Just go to the Heart Health Academy at Bon Secours.