Doctors Push Cholesterol Drugs on Kids

By Nargyle · Jul 14, 2008 · ·
  1. Nargyle

    WASHINGTON -- One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small. And the ones that mother gives you soon will control your cholesterol.

    Childhood long ago ceased to involve idyllic hours chasing small animals through the field or even careening around the neighborhood on a bicycle. But do we really need to liven it up with Lipitor?

    To the cocktail of drugs young children already are taking, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that some kids as young as 8 might benefit from cholesterol-reducing medication. The reasons are too familiar: Our kids are growing too fat (just like their parents), eating lots of the wrong foods (just like their parents), getting insufficient exercise (just like their parents), and showing the warning signs of serious future health problems -- high cholesterol levels -- that are precursors to heart attacks (just like they are for their parents).

    So, after detecting an unnerving jump in cholesterol levels among the young, the pediatrics profession is suggesting that some kids with high cholesterol and a family history of early heart disease should "be considered" as candidates to take the drugs now prescribed mostly to those who are in middle age or older. Screening for cholesterol levels, according to recommendations listed in the journal Pediatrics, should begin for some children when they are as young as 2. Can cholesterol-drug commercials on the Disney Channel be far behind?

    There's no wonder the medical profession is concerned about overweight kids who are developing life-threatening health conditions. The pediatric profession long ago recommended that children 2 and older eat less sugary food, consume whole-grain breads instead of processed, white baked goods and drink skim or low-fat milk. The children's doctors say kids should get "60 minutes of moderate to vigorous play or physical activity daily." And by vigorous, they don't mean thumbing to victory in a video game or racing to get a snack during a television commercial.

    "It's appalling what we've let happen to our children," says Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. "And the fact that the children have such high cholesterol levels is a sign of the environment we have created for them."

    Another part of what Brownell calls our "environment" is the reliance on medication as the answer to the poor conditions we've created for ourselves. "As a culture, we're very prone to creating unhealthy environments and then trying to use medicine to mop up the damage."

    The epidemic of obesity among children is real, and already it is leading to the onset of serious -- and expensive to treat -- diseases such as diabetes at ever-younger ages. But like another serious problem much in the news lately -- sky-high energy prices -- this is one that is largely of our own making.

    We've allowed the food industry to market directly to kids, overwhelming them with a tsunami of sugary inducements in cereal ads alone. We've allowed vending machines full of junk food in the schools. We've somehow made the social activity of sitting around eating pizza while watching a sporting event as acceptable as playing the sport itself. As schools have come under increasing pressure to teach -- and test -- more, physical education programs and even recess for elementary-school kids often have been cut.

    Just as we have a decades-long history of all the wrong habits when it comes to energy consumption, we've got a decades-long history of saying we want to be fit, while conscientiously ignoring most of the good advice that's been out there for years. "The fact that young kids may need statin drugs now is a sign of how bad we've made it," Brownell says. "If anything, this study should have sounded the loudest possible alarm bell that something needs to be done to provide better conditions for our children."

    When the U.S. surgeon general first reported that smoking cigarettes was a killer habit -- and hardly the glamorous lifestyle choice portrayed in television and the movies -- people began to quit in droves. Eventually, tobacco use became a social taboo. Schools and parents go to great lengths now to keep kids from smoking. After all, there's no prescription drug that can cure lung cancer.

    How loudly does the siren about our children's unhealthy eating habits have to sound before we get the message that the response has to come from us -- and not the pharmaceutical industry?

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  1. Lobsang
    Yes the medical profession is pretty bad when it comes to preventive care while they excel at emergency care. We are seeing much more obesity in children. We are also seeing a lot more type 2 diabetes in children. And the key to this is diet and excersize as well as avoiding certain toxins in the diet. Giving children cholestorol medicaion is complete nonsense. Cholesterol in it'self is not the issue. You really have to look at many other factors. This is where natural functional medicine comes in. Evaluating people early and making dietary and lifestyle changes early to avoid problems. But the answer is not putting kids on statins and other drugs. That is totally insane. As far as obesity, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes in children and adults there is a much bigger picture than just putting kids on medication. Because the bottom line is that it is a complete sham. If you are at all interested in this topic in adults and children I highly suggest you make the time to watch this video in all 3 parts. It is well worth the short time and can add years to our lives and help a lot of children as well
  2. Burnt
    yes diet and lifestyle choices will certainly solve these problems a lot more then statins. people need to be educated on why this trend of the pharmaceutical industry is dangerous but can easily be avoided by families and their doctors.

    statins can potentially screw with a child and teenagers development. cholesterol is used to make many hormones in the body including testosterone by inhibiting its endogenous biosynthesis you also downstream inhibit the formation of these hormones and at critical stages of development the consequences of this are unknown and potentially very dangerous.
  3. AKDirtyHeaven
    i saw this on the news and could not believe my eyes because who in the world wants to give a kid cholestrol medicine? and how in the world are these kids getting cholesterol problems at such young ages? maybe not getting off the couch and relying on the wii for exercise i bet. pretty sick they give you those kinds of strong medicines but yet other things they frown on. i mean mcdonalds has fried apples now right so wonder why kids have chugging hearts. too bad and you know the whole ritalin thing really goes in with this showing it aint the best idea to be popping pills to little kids if you ask ME
  4. Burnt
    yea i think half of the problem is the parents these days. SWIMs mom works with young kids at a school and always tells SWIM how the parents are always too busy to spend any time with there kids never take time off when the kids are sick so the kids are just a mess. probably eat like shit too so there all messed up on sugar and caffeine. this whole ritalin thing is just a way to get kids hooked on stimulants when they are young. most people SWIM knows who were prescribed ritalin eventually wound up with drug problems.

    and the cholesterol thing is just pathetic any parent who gives there kids those drugs is a complete moron.
  5. AKDirtyHeaven
    no kidding and you got to think its a wonder there arent more problems with these kids being raised in virtual aquariums more or less. the helicopter parents they call them always hovering over there kids. sick and you are right about the hooking people. that ritalin stuff gets abused even by kids it can help. they od on it in the sense they get too big of a kick and keep on going. swim met lots of people like that thru the years and it rarely ends up good
  6. Burnt
    Yea it really isn't good. See when kids hit puberty and there on these statins there going to have low hormone levels so what is the pharm industry going to do to solve that problem? make the kids go on synthetic hormones to replace the ones their body isnt making and your going to have teenagers with tits like dolly parton all over the place. its sad because the kids dont know whats going on and basically have no decision making in the process they simply dont know.

    the parents are uninformed and basically listen to the doctor which really isnt there fault they are supposed to trust their family doctor. but the doctors are now being educated and funded more and more directly by the pharmaceutical industry so even they are buying into this system. and then the insurance companies are also in on it making the doctors do what the pharmaceutical industry sais because they are afraid of getting in trouble for recommending that someone doesn't take drugs! its a big sad screwed up mess. but it can be solved it really just takes people educating themselves and having the courage to tell their doctor no. they tell kids to say no to drug dealers on the street but forget about the drug dealers in white coats.

    Burnt added 2 Minutes and 6 Seconds later...

    another thing if parents do tell their doctor no. the government can now have child protective services come and take kids away from parents who dont want to give their kids vaccinations or whatever other drug they think is in the childs best interest. it really is crazy. SWIM is involved in the scientific end of medicine and really is appalled by whats going on.
  7. AKDirtyHeaven
    sorry the dolly parton thing cracked me up and i almost wonder if ive found a way to be in favour of this idea! just kidding but yeah drs are getting money from the corporate dope peddlars and if you listen to the side effects of most of this stuff on tv you gotta wonder why they show a whole 60s montaj of psychadellic pictures behind the ad and play this happy music... crazy stuff that seems worse than the diseases its supposed to cure most of the time. and yeah the drs are too quick with the meds UNLESS it takes a way pain and then they act as if theyre doing you this gigantic favor by offering double strength freaking aspirin after surgery for example rather than these "dangerous addictive pain killers". that could be based on how i look tho of course. that seems to affect alot of things.
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