Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kids and cholesterol drugs -- a bad mix?

After a slight R&R hiatus this past week, I'm back and the latest news in the papers is scary enough that it's prompting me to put pen to rather, fingers to my laptop's keyboard. Anyhow, after reading one too many articles about the American Academy of Pediatrics' recent recommendation to prescribe statin drugs (like lipitor) to help lower the cholesterol of at risk children over the age of 8, I felt the need to quickly comment. "At risk" meaning they're at risk for developing heart disease or diabetes down the road and have high levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol (above 130).
All of this of course, is linked back to the overweight and obesity epidemic that has our country and food companies at their knees. A news article just published yesterday stated that 14 major food companies, Coca-Cola and Kellog's among them, who are members of the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative are planning to make a serious effort at marketing "healthier for you" foods to children in an effort too keep weight off. Great to hear, but will it really illicit change? What will really hit home with kids, what role do parents and guardians play? I'm not so sure medicine should be the got-to answer and it appears many others feel similarly because the American Academy of Pediatrics is getting a whole lot of flack right now. How did we get to this state of continuously expanding waistlines in a country that focuses so much attention on losing weight and spends millions each year on "diet" foods? Less time in front of the tube or computer, more time outside or actively playing along with smaller portions and simple changes towards healthier 'kid-friendly' foods might just do the trick--saving medical alternatives for when they're truly necessary. What do you all think?

No comments: