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.
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.