Home > Uncategorized > Cholesterol Tests for Fourth Graders?

Cholesterol Tests for Fourth Graders?

I don’t know about you, but when I think about cholesterol levels and heart disease, I picture…well…old people.

Not anymore.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will publish a journal article next week that recommends that all kids in the U.S. should have their cholesterol tested at ages 9 to 11. It used to be that only kids with a high risk of heart disease were tested (which was also news to me), but the Institute points to new evidence that some children with cholesterol problems are currently falling through the cracks and therefore are at higher risk for heart disease. The doctor quoted in the article explicitly said that the testing procedure doesn’t have anything to do with the rising childhood obesity rate, but I really question that. I mean, doesn’t it make sense that the two are related? Kids today have some of the highest obesity rates, and obesity is linked to heart disease.

So what do you think? Is it just better research that spurred these recommendations, or is the childhood obesity rate a factor?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I feel like checking cholesterol in fourth graders is excessive. I have always thought of cholesterol as a problem for middle age or old overweight people, not little children. It makes me question why they chose this age to test, I mean why 9 to 11 not 13-15. Is this age span more at risk or just more cooperative? I agree with you that it makes sense that the increase in high cholesterol would be related to the increase in obesity in our country. So it seems to me that rather than testing just the obese children they have decided to test everyone to be more sensitive to the issue of childhood obesity.

  2. November 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I think checking cholesterol in young children is a good idea. Heart disease is a colossal killer amongst americans these days and it would be great if people could become mindful about their health so they can start being wary earlier.
    Oddly enough, one of my close friends – who is 18 – recently found out that his cholesterol levels are extremely high for someone his age. He had no clue and has no family history of heart problems. If he was made aware of his condition at an earlier stage he could have taken more precautions and been in better shape. Now, he has to drastically change his eating habits and closely monitor his health.
    I think any form of heart disease awareness is great and earlier cholesterol tests would fall into that category.

  3. November 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I agree with ^ mainly because heart disease and obesity is a major issue in america. I personally would like to be well aware before hand about my eating habbits than later on in life when I am having these problems. Perhaps the reason for the research is to better school lunches and student diet. Also the fact that bad food is so cheap it makes it so accessible to the public, I also think that being aware of the effects of heart disease is something that more children should be aware of, because it is infact a serious problem.

  4. November 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I would like to think that testing children is unnecessary, but I could be persuaded otherwise. I agree with poojamistry that people should be aware of these problems. Although it would be considerate for doctors to take into account the sensitivity surrounding obesity, I think it is more important to address the problem head on. Obesity awareness is important for parents across America. Although weight does have some biological base, there are other important environmental factors. The lifestyle that many Americans lead is pretty much a direct path to obesity. Although eating pizza and hamburgers, and watching tv is considered a stereotype of Americans, it is reality for enough people that I feel we should be concerned. I recently watched Wall-e for my group project, and in the movie, humans are living in space, a few centuries into the future. They have these chairs that carry them around. They only talk to people over their computers, which are attached to their chairs. They can barely stand up, and their bone mass has shrunk considerably. I’m not saying that this is our future, but it is easy to put your own health aside and focus on different matters, such as work. It is easy to sit in front of the TV and eat dinner by yourself. Much easier than taking your kids for a post-dinner walk. It is easier to buy kids highly processed food than it is to pack them a home-made lunch. The media does not make this any easier with their advertising either, but in order to have a healthy home, it is necessary to at least sometimes take an extra step. I believe that if everyone did this, then testing for childhood cholesterol would not be such an issue.

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