November 13, 2011- A panel of health experts from the government has recommended that all kids receive high cholesterol tests before the age of puberty. The reason is to get a jump-start in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The first test for cholesterol should be when the child is between nine and 11 years of age said the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Doctors recommend that children with a high cholesterol rate should be referred to a dietician, exercise daily for 30 to 60 minutes, eat whole grains and plant based foods, and avoid saturated fats. In addition, doctors recommend for all children age two and older that fat-free milk should be consumed. If all the precautionary steps fail to maintain the child’s cholesterol at a sufficient level, then medication should be used for children older than 10.
This new recommendation reflects the evidence that is increasing that says biological processes that cause heart attacks and other cardiovascular disease start in childhood. Even though actual manifestation of the disease for the most part does not surface until the person is middle aged or older.
The new guidelines also come amid great concern nationwide about the number of children in the U.S. who are overweight and or obese and potentially could develop high blood pressure, diabetes or other health irregularities. One estimate by the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. says that 17% of children in America are obese. That level is triple what it was just 30 years ago.