High Blood Cholesterol Levels - A Serious Risk Factor of Heart Disease among Children

 


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Heart disease is considered to be the leading cause of death in most countries around the world. A major risk factor of coronary disease, cholesterol accounts for more and more victims among the American population these days. Recent statistics indicate that there are around 100 million people confronted with high blood cholesterol levels in the United States alone, an estimated 52 percent of the total population having borderline high blood cholesterol values (200 – 239 mg/dL) and around 21 percent having seriously high blood cholesterol values, exceeding 240 mg/dL.

An even more disturbing fact is that about a quarter of the annual heart disease overall cases due to high blood cholesterol levels are registered among children. While in the past cholesterol problems were primarily linked to old age, predominantly occurring among older adults, nowadays high cholesterol levels are registered among children as young as 5 years old. Due to bad dietary habits, weight problems and physical inactivity, increasingly high numbers of children are nowadays becoming victims of coronary disease, atherosclerosis and various other serious conditions linked with high blood cholesterol levels.

Although cholesterol problems are highly preventable and reversible, overwhelmingly large numbers of children die as a result of cholesterol-associated diseases. Several post-mortem medical investigations have revealed conclusive signs of cardiovascular problems in children as young as 3 and even in babies! The results of several autopsy studies recently conducted in the United States indicate that more than half of the children with ages between 10 and 15 present a certain degree of arterial damage or signs of advanced atherosclerosis.

Surprising or not, the main reason for the growing numbers of abnormal cholesterol levels among children is bad diet. Very few children these days eat right or respect eating schedules, rendering such categories very exposed to cholesterol problems and eventually serious cardiovascular affections. While the food industry holds a major part of the blame, deliberately participating to a phenomenon of mass poisoning by carelessly promoting and supporting the commercialization of unhealthy food products, another part of the blame is held by parents, who often indulge in satisfying their siblings’ every culinary preferences without being aware of the consequences.

Although it is painful to admit this fact, parental neglect is one of the reasons for today’s children’s health problems. Nowadays, it seems that parents are more preoccupied with their work than with the health and wellbeing of their children. Very few parents these days make time for preparing healthy, home-cooked meals, preferring fast food, processed food products and other quick alternatives over a balanced diet. Nevertheless, today’s parents don’t seem to bother educating their children about the risks of inappropriate dietary choices, becoming too permissive when it comes to fulfilling their children’s trifles.

As a parent, you are main responsible for taking measures in preventing the occurrence of cholesterol problems in your children. In order to avoid the occurrence of cholesterol problems and reduce the risks of heart disease in your children, you should frequently have their cholesterol levels measured and take action in keeping their cholesterol values in check. Make sure that your children respect healthy diets, free from fast food and other unhealthy, fat and cholesterol-rich food products and introduce more healthy and nutritious foods in their diets. Educate your children to respect well-established meal schedules and don’t allow them to replace home-cooked meals with unhealthy supermarket foods.

You should encourage your children to practice a certain sport, as lack of physical exercise has a major negative effect on one’s health, greatly contributing to the occurrence of cholesterol problems and increasing the risk of heart disease. Remember that high cholesterol in children, as well as adults is most often the result of inappropriate diet and physically inactive lifestyle. Make improvements in these areas and you will be able to effectively prevent and overcome cholesterol problems and various other related conditions.

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