An 11 years boy with his mom stepped into my practice eight weeks ago. They came with his surprising blood results that showed high cholesterol.
An acceptable cholesterol level for the age group of 2-19-year olds is less than 170 mg. This young boy had a cholesterol level of 220 mg, 50 mg above what’s considered healthy, and many children even younger than this boy have the same shocking blood results. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) third of young adults have high cholesterol levels.
It is hard to believe that The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends cholesterol screening at the low age of about 9 years old for all children. They are claiming that along with a healthy diet, proper weight, and exercise, children who have a family history of early fatal heart attacks (meaning before age 40) may benefit from cholesterol and blood pressure medication to appropriately manage high cholesterol and other risk factors.
Genetics, overweight or obesity, and quality and quantity of one’s food intake all playing a key role in developing high cholesterol levels among children and adults. Excess of cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaques on the walls of the arteries, which supply blood to the heart and other organs and cause heart attacks and strokes.
What can you do?
- Eat out less
- Move more
- Increase intake of real, clean organic foods
- Learn how to read labels
- Learn more about the fats that you use
- Eliminate foods that are poisoning you and your child
- Learn how to implements healthy foods with kids (sometimes it’s not easy, mommy)
- Eliminate drinking soda and refined sugar
- Get nutritional counseling that focuses on reducing the dietary fat and cholesterol
If we all put in the effort needed and chose a healthy lifestyle we can take matters back to our hands. We can take control of our children’s and our health with healthy food choices. The solution is in our hands, it begins and ends with the daily decision we make.
With the right attention and treatment, there is a way back to be healthy and fit. This 11 years old boy is slowly adapting a new lifestyle that includes new tastes and flavors, more exercise and the more important – he’s gaining back his health.