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July 14, 2008

Children Under Ten May Need Cholesterol Lowering Drugs

Some influential doctors are saying that cholesterol fighting drugs should be prescribed to children the help fight heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and research is showing that most of the damage is done in early childhood. The American Academy of Pediatrics is seeing more and more evidence that cholesterol lowering drugs, which relatively safe for children might benefit greatly from using cholesterol lowering drugs.

Low fat milk for one year olds is also a new recommendation. In the past it was whole fat milk was recommended for children one year old because saturated fats are used in brain development. However, now it seems that children are getting saturated fats from so many other sources, the whole milk is not necessary.

The drug treatment would be targeted towards children that are eight years old who have an abundance of LDL. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol and the children would also have to be obese and have high blood pressure. Before the drug treatment begins a weight loss program should be attempted. If children did not lose weight after that then the drugs would be used.

In the past people that have a genetic predisposition towards having high cholesterol were the ones that were in great danger of getting heart disease. Now it seems that there is a large number of people that have no predisposition towards high cholesterol are being diagnosed with high cholesterol. Pediatricians are recommending that parents have the cholesterol of children with a family history of high cholesterol checked at a very early age. It seems that if the cholesterol problems are caught early enough and treated with medication, the risk of heart disease is diminished.

This is another consequence of the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Children under the age of ten should not have to take drugs of any kind unless they are born with some type of disease or disorder. Young children have high blood pressure and are obese. There is something drastically wrong with what is going on in this country.

Yesterday a weight loss client of mine said that her weight problems were genetic. Well, there was no evidence for that in her health chart. Many of the habits that have caused these problems in people are passed down through the generations. That is not genetic, that is instead an inherited habit. Combating the obesity epidemic requires that we recognize what we can control and what we can not. Lifestyle changes must be made before we start to blame every overweight instance on genetics.

Hopefully his research will help people realize how important it is that they feed their children healthy food and help them make good nutritional choices. In a culture that is based on food, it is hard to break away from the idea that food is a reward, social tool, soother and the answer to everything. Reforming how we think about food and how we approach eating situations in our everyday lives is vital to reversing the obesity epidemic.

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2 Comment(s)

  1. Rob at Kardea Nutrition | Jul 15, 2008 | Reply

    Atherosclerosis —the clogging of the arteries that may lead to heart failure, strokes and other diseases—certainly can begin early in life and excessive weight in children may accelerate this process in some. But there is a middle-ground between weight-loss and medication. Selected nutrients—soluble fiber from oats, beans, psyllium and high pectin fruits, plant sterols and monounsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats can serve to significantly improve cholesterol levels (link to studies at http://www.kardeanutrition.com/resources) independent of weight and without medication. A 30% reduction in LDL cholesterol has been documented and the NIH’s National Cholesterol Education Program indicates that a commitment to somewhat broader therapeutic lifestyle changes can deliver result comparable to cholesterol-lowering medications. Selected other nutrients can further improve cholesterol levels.

  2. lisadeb1989 | Jul 15, 2008 | Reply

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