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.
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?