Fifty years ago, it would have been ridiculous to even think about high cholesterol in children but fast-forward to the present time, and the numbers reveal that this has become a big problem. Every year, more and more children are getting overweight before they even reach the age of ten. For this very reason medical experts are already pushing for parents to have their children go through blood tests to check their cholesterol levels even at the early age of two. Why are children becoming afflicted with high cholesterol? How can this affect them as they grow older?
- Some children really do not have a choice and this is because high cholesterol can be a hereditary problem. Kids may have developed cholesterol complications simply because it was passed down to them from their parents. One good way to determine whether your children are at risk is to take some time and study your own family medical history. If there has been a history of hereditary cardiovascular diseases in either of the parents’ families then it is most likely that your child could develop this as well.
- Fast food and junk foods are the real killer these days, especially in the United States. Parents are working at a frantic rate that time becomes more of a privilege instead of a right, and thus it has become a part of most people’s lifestyle to eat at fast food chains. Children who are exposed to endless choices fatty, high cholesterol food such as greasy burgers and French fries are most likely going to have high cholesterol. It will show over the years as the child develops weight problems and obesity.
- Lack of physical activity is another major reason why children are starting to develop cholesterol problems at an early age. Most kids these days spend eight hours sitting in school only to spend more hours sitting down when they are at home. They are either sitting in front of the television, a computer, a tablet, their phone, or any other kind of gadget. Children need to burn the excess fat and cholesterol in their body and this is one reason why most schools are now pushing for more physical education time in their class schedules.
Facing Cholesterol Problems in Children
A quick look at the numbers can really scare parents. As of 2012, one of five children in the United States has high cholesterol. Of course, at their age this may not be considered a serious problem but if a child develops obesity before they even reach the age of fifteen they may be prone to heart attacks and strokes before they hit their mid-twenties. Every year, more and more children are developing cholesterol and weight-related problems and it usually revolves around the three listed reasons above.
At an early age, children can fight the complications before they develop into serious problems. A change in diet and an increase their physical activity can significantly turn the tables around. High cholesterol in children is becoming an alarming problem and it should be addressed as soon as possible.