Overweight Preschoolers Raise Their Heart Disease Risk

This summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended children as young as 2 start having their cholesterol levels screened if they have a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol, and that screening should start no later than 10.

They also recommended, controversially, that children as young as 8 be given cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Both Messiah and Krauss are opposed to children aged 3 to 6 taking statins; the focus should instead be on better nutrition and more physical activity.

More information

The Children's Nutrition Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine has kid's healthy eating tips and a BMI calculator.

SOURCES: Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H., research assistant professor and epidemiologist, University of Miami; Ronald Krauss, M.D., director, atherosclerosis research, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute; March 11, 2009, presentation, American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, Palm Harbor, Fla.

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