Times are changing. Unfortunately, obesity in the US has greatly increased and the sadder part is, it has with regard to children as well. What used to be standard medical guidelines in treating children, are now evolving. Children have medical issues and complications these days from their eating habits, that they didn't years ago. Doctors have now recognized this growing concern.
New guidelines are suggesting that children between the ages of 9 and 11 start to be screened for high cholesterol. These guidelines also suggest that these same children be screened again between the ages of 17 and 21 years of age.
The reason is, with poorer eating habits and less exercise, heart disease is a concern in this population. Keeping children's cholesterol in the healthy range may prevent the onset of heart disease. The sooner a problem can be recognized and dealt with, the better overall health this person will have down the road as an adult. High cholesterol is the leading cause of hardening of the arteries and heart disease.
Originally, children with "risk factors" were only being considered for this testing, but recent suggestions are that all children in these age brackets be tested to see if anything can be detected before symptoms even appear.
Pediatricians, overall, are backing this suggestion and say that not only does cholesterol testing need to be performed, but healthy lifestyles must be adopted, blood pressure should be checked and a body mass index performed and monitored.
Teaching children the importance of physical activity, healthy eating and not to smoke are key. This will help them in the "low risk" status as children and help prevent risk of future heart problems as adults.
The lower you can keep your risk up to ages 40 - 50, the less likely you wil be to have heart disease.
Attached is the article from Web MD explaining the new guidelines and medical suggestions. http://children.webmd.com/news/20111111/a-wake-up-call-all-children-should-be-tested-for-high-cholesterol
Consider this with your own children, and discuss the concern with your child's doctor to be sure all necessary testing is being done.
Recognizing and addressing the problem, before it's too late, is the only answer.