You’ve heard it a thousand times over: Kids today are too fat; they don’t exercise; they play too many video games.
Earlier this week the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines stating that children as young as 2 may need a cholesterol test, and it sparked quite a controversy by saying that even in elementary school, some kids need a statin prescription.
But it’s important for families to know that most kids with high cholesterol can avoid medications. Only if a child has very high lipid levels because of an inherited disease, like familial hyperlipidemia, will a drug probably be in order; just 1 percent of kids probably qualify.
“Those children can exercise and diet all they want, and it’s really not going to change all that much,” says Jennifer Li, pediatric cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center.
Assuming a child does not have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, the answer rests in that familiar doctor’s order: lifestyle modification.
So parents be warned; you’ll need to dig deep on this one—and you might just shed pounds and improve your own cholesterol readings in the process. Li’s prescription for helping families bring down a child’s high cholesterol.
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