With the knowledge that high cholesterol levels can cause an increased risk of heart disease, it is important to lower bad cholesterol. High cholesterol in children is becoming a bigger problem as society is seeing an increase in obesity. If your child already has high cholesterol, there may be a few different reasons for it, and there are ways to keep it from getting out of hand. Here are some causes of high cholesterol in children.
One potential cause is a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. There are some genetic causes, so if your family has a history of heart problems, it is important to get screened to make sure that there are no underlying genetic causes. If there is a genetic cause, there are ways to manage and treat high cholesterol in order to lower the risks of heart problems.
Another one of the causes of high cholesterol in children is a lack of physical activity. We are seeing more of this as time goes on, with the increase of videogames and computer programs keeping children indoors and inactive, sitting in front of a computer or TV screen. However, there are some games out there that promote physical activity, such as Pokemon Go or the Wii Fit. If your child is obsessed with videogames, try getting them interested in one of these. You can also make it a family rule that TV, computer and cell phone use is limited, and encourage family bonding with outdoor activities.
Obesity is another cause for a child to have high cholesterol. A lower activity level can contribute to obesity, but it is also diet related. If your child is obese, take a look at what meals you are preparing for your family. You want to make sure that you are creating healthy dietary habits for your child, as these habits will continue into adulthood. Offer your child fruits and vegetables each day, not only for meals but also when they say they want a snack. Keep fatty foods out of the house to deter unhealthy snacking. You can also talk to a dietician for more information on what kinds of meals to prepare.
If your child has high cholesterol, it can be frightening. But understanding the causes of high cholesterol in children and working on fixing them is a great step to not only creating a healthier lifestyle for your family, but also decreasing the likelihood of heart problems in the future.