From Tricycles to Triglycerides: Kids With High Cholesterol

Childhood obesity is on everybody’s radar these days.  It is a pet issue of Michelle Obama’s, for example, and the subject of great concern for public health officials.  How did our lifestyles become so destructive to our children?  One alarming fact from Wikipedia – a study has shown that “Eating at fast food restaurants is very common among young people with 75% of 7th to 12th grade students consuming fast food in a given week.”  Wow!

More young people today have high cholesterol than ever.  Photo by Vojko Kalan

More young people today have high cholesterol than ever.

According to NPR, 20 percent of teenagers have high cholesterol.  The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) doesn’t even recommend universal cholesterol testing for people under 20!

Though the scope of the problem is large, that doesn’t mean it can’t be controlled.  First, it’s important that the whole family knows their cholesterol, including kids.  Dr. Julie Brothers in the NPR link has a few suggestions for teens with high cholesterol.  Diet is very important – more fruits and veggies, less sugar, and more exercise.  The good news is that diet and exercise are frequently all it takes to reduce cholesterol levels in kids – Dr. Brothers rarely puts children on statin medication.

Be sure to monitor your diet and stay active.  And keep an eye on that cholesterol!

(You can buy one of two types of at home cholesterol test by visiting our Home Cholesterol Test page.)

Photo credit: “Talk” by Vojko Kalan