Harvard Medical School and chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, calls the push to medicate children with statins “an admission of colossal societal failure.” Via The New York Times:
But I think all that misses the crux of the issue. The very discussion of drug treatment to lower cholesterol in kids constitutes an admission of colossal societal failure. Although our genetic makeup has not changed in the last 20 years, our collective girth has skyrocketed, and the epidemic of childhood obesity is going global. We need to look to our environment for the root cause of this sudden change in the shape of the human species, which in evolutionary terms is occurring in an instant. Rather than “medicalizing” childhood obesity and heart risk, we need to repair our toxic surroundings.This should be a call to action for parents. Want your kid to be healthy, get involved! “Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. Same goes with exercise.
Another recent study, the largest ever of children and physical activity, finds that American kids experience a remarkable drop in activity levels as they reach puberty. By age 15, the wide majority of kids are moving less than one hour each weekday.
As citizens, as parents, we must strive to reinforce physical education, nutrition curricula, and encourage limitation of high-sugar beverages in schools. In too many homes, glowing television screens, computer monitors, and video game screens have supplanted the bicycles and basketball hoops of yesteryear. Our kids’ meals should reflect sensible nutrition practices wherever they’re served. (Many such practices were noted in the academy’s report, while only one tentative paragraph discussed physical activity.) Urban planners must redouble efforts to provide the sidewalks and bike paths needed by children and adults alike for spontaneous recreation.