“Should All Children Have Cholesterol Checked?” This is not a slice of pizza, but it could probably be considered as a result of too many pieces of pizza. This is what our main arteries look like inside in the advanced stage of atherosclerosis associated with fat and cholesterol. We know that ischemic heart disease it doesn’t just appear all of a sudden, though. The disease starts during early childhood, developing without symptoms for several decades until it often reaches the final and unexpected end phase chest pain, injury or just death.
We need to remind ourselves, that atherosclerosis begins in childhood like fatty streaks in the arteries, precursors of advanced lesions, which ultimately kill us. By the age of 20, 20% of the inner surface of the arteries coming from the heart is covered with greasy streaks. So 50 years ago, pathologists started asking themselves the question whether cardiovascular disease is best treated from cardiologists or pediatricians. Because until the age of 30 many young people already have advanced coronary atherosclerosis and intervention from the age of 30 is actually what is called secondary prevention, trying to deal with the ravages of the disease, instead of preventing the disease itself, because advanced atherosclerosis is probably already a fact.
And we export the problem to the world. Young, weak, obviously healthy people and yet 97% of the total number of arteries look like this. So even in developing countries, where they have acquired our eating habits, we are seeing an epidemic of heart disease and sudden death, that if they don’t shoot you first.
In addition, the risk factors that are linked with the size of such early lesions, are the same risk factors that are linked with heart attacks later in life. In other words, it’s the same disease only at an earlier stage. So the pathologists, the ones doing the autopsies to all these young people and they see all these ischemic heart diseases, started calling many years ago, that preventative measures should be taken earlier in life. We know that there are fat bands in little children over the age of one, but only in 1994. A working group set up by the government, came up with a radical idea. The strategic key and the greatest opportunity to prevent cardiovascular disease is to prevent the development of risk primarily.
In my video “Heart disease starts in childhood”, I noticed that the fat bands, the first stage of atherosclerosis, were found in the arteries almost 100% of children 10 years of age, grown on a standard American diet.
In recognition of this fact, the latest recommendations from the Pediatric Academy are for all children to study cholesterol, starting between the ages of 9 and 11. Of course, this drives pharmaceutical companies to lick at the thought put statin drugs on the Happy Meal menus, but long-term drug intervention is expensive and can be connected with adverse effects. They are talking about a change in lifestyle.
In my video, “How Many People Meet the Simple Seven Criteria?” I discovered breathtaking statistics, that only about 1 in every 2,000 Americans meet the seven criteria of the American Heart Association for a heart-healthy lifestyle.
What about American teens? Of all 4,673 young people between the ages of 12 and 19 participated in the study, ZERO passed all the criteria. What is the main reason? Most teenage boys and girls do not smoke. White bars indicate the percentage, that meets the criteria.
Most of them are not overweight, but almost no one eats healthy. Less than 1% of young men and women met the minimum criteria for healthy eating. This unfortunate situation is what lies behind this controversial document, which suggests that the current generation of American children and young people, our children, maybe one of the first generations, which is less robust and has a shorter life span from their parents.
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