This week’s news that one in five children under the age of 18 have borderline high or high cholesterol is extremely disturbing but with one-quarter of our children overweight or obese, it’s hardly surprising. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “current research shows that the stage for adult heart disease (also known as cardiovascular disease) is set early on. So, the organization is changing its 10-year-old policy on cholesterol and urging.”
AAP is now advocating cholesterol screening at routine check-ups; cholesterol-reducing drugs for children as young as 8 with unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, or excess weight; and for those who seem at risk for such issues, starting toddlers on low-fat milk instead of the whole variety. Given that heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., it seems we can’t start low cholesterol diets too early.