Health headlines are often filled with news about childhood obesity and the risks children face because of their weight. But there's hopeful news about high cholesterol in kids.
Kids' cholesterol levels have actually fallen over the past two decades. But nearly one in 10 Americans under age 18 still has elevated cholesterol. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at cholesterol blood tests done in more than 16,000 children ages 6-19. All of these children had participated in the national health and nutritional examination survey during three time periods. They were tested for total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides.
Researchers crunched the numbers and found a five point decrease in total cholesterol, a five point decrease in LDL, a nine point decrease in triglycerides and an increase in HDL, the good cholesterol, by 1.5 points.
Because high cholesterol in kids often follows into adulthood, the aims has always been to nip bad habits in the bud early.
While the results of this study are encouraging, experts stress that more work still needs to be done to guide young patients toward healthy food choices and getting exercise.